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Old 2010-10-26, 05:00 PM   #1
hugh
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Default Flexnet Licensing Service: Adobe Spyware?

Without any warning, my Adobe Photoshop Premiere and Elements 8.0 software stopped working with an Error 150:30

After much hassle, I was able to figure out how to get it working again.

It seems a service called "Flexnet Licensing Service" by Acresso Software has to start up on my system and be running 24/7 or else Adobe software won't work.

I have no problem with Adobe requiring their products having to be registered and I have no problem with it communicating with Adobe every few months to validate, however, I don't want unknown and unnecessary services running on my system 24/7. Especially services which potentially communicate with Adobe servers when I'm not using Adobe products.

Products that in my mind communicate with other services relaying information back about my system are best described as spyware.

So can anyone tell me:
  • why does the Flexnet service have to run 24/7 even when Adobe software is not running?
  • Is there anyway to have the service start and stop when I open and shut down my Adobe software?
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Old 2010-10-26, 06:49 PM   #2
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Flexnet is a real POS...but it was built by Macromedia (now Adobe) so don't expect to get rid of it anytime soon. It crashes often on me, usually at shutdown.

I need it on my work XP computer for Minitab statistical software and DOORS requirements management suite. Fortunately, my Adobe CS4 is on Mac OS X so it doesn't get used there.

I haven't been able to find a way to autostart/stop the service, but i did get some performance improvement by updating the license manager package from the web.
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Old 2010-10-26, 07:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh View Post
So can anyone tell me:
  • why does the Flexnet service have to run 24/7 even when Adobe software is not running?
  • Is there anyway to have the service start and stop when I open and shut down my Adobe software?
It runs as service because its designers envisioned that many (all) software packages are going to use their "amazing" licensing solution. So instead of bundling it with every app, it gets installed once as service and serves many clients. Typical "we'll rule the world" example.

The only way to have it start and stop with application is to use batch file (or some kind of scripting that's available to you).

Not what you want to hear.
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Old 2010-10-26, 09:51 PM   #4
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This is news to me, so I checked.
Went to services and set it to disabled - sure enough, PSE wouldn't start.
Set it to manual again and PSE started just fine.

It was originally 'Stopped', only started when I opened PSE.
And about a minute after I closed PSE it's back to 'Stopped' status.
So it doesn't really run 24/7. Only when the program's open. I'm fine with that, though I don't like the idea of licensing crap with all my software.

If yours is running 24/7 something's not ending it correctly.
I'm on 7x32 if that's the difference. You're probably using 7x64 and there's a bug in the 64bit code (if elements even runs in 64bit mode?) or the WOW64 resulting in it remaining active
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Old 2010-10-26, 10:56 PM   #5
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I didn't even look, but you are right. My service is on manual and Photoshop works just fine. I'm on Windows 7 x64, and Photoshop is both 32-bit and 64-bit.
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Old 2010-10-26, 11:30 PM   #6
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This scenario is typical of business licensing. A license server must be running and provide license validation for the software to run. This has been done by companies like Adobe for years. The only difference is that the license server is running on the local PC instead of a corporate level server. It's not a typical scheme for home user software but, IMHO, accusing Adobe of planting spyware is a bit extreme.

I am not a fan of Adobe software. I don't like their products and especially dislike the adware that is required to download and install Adobe Reader (which has been replaced by Foxit Reader on my system.) There are lots of software packages that have unnecessary programs that run all the time so Adobe is not alone in that regard. Some of them include 'updaters' for software like Java, 'quick launch' for programs like Office and Adobe Reader and 'agents' for programs or program features that are rarely used. Some programs, like Winamp, keep services running to prevent changes to file associations or other settings. When it comes to bloated, memory hungry services, security and antivirus software is by far the worst.
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