II. Quick Install & Tour

Installing the components of K2 is easy. The diagram below is typically all you will need to get up and running using the appropriate installers from a K2 archive (download).

Outline of the Installation steps:

  1. Server  

Install the KeyServer process on a single computer


• If you have purchased the full K2 product, convert from evaluation mode

  2. Client  

Install KeyAccess client software – reboot required


• Test client connection to KeyServer

  3. Admin  

Install KeyConfigure, the administrative interface for K2


• Test an admin connection to KeyServer (password: "Sassafras")

• When KeyConfigure connects to the KeyServer the first time, enable KeyReporter, the web server for scheduling reports and publishing as HTML


The K2 installers and components are completely self contained, and they are compiled for a mix of operating systems running on either 32- or 64-bit hardware. There are no special OS or hardware requirements. For evaluation purposes, all functions can be installed on your desktop or laptop computer.

There were many new features and major interface changes introduced in K2 version 7.x. If you are currently using a 6.x version of KeyServer and are planning to upgrade, you should take the time to run through this demo tour. When converting from a 6.x version, first familiarize yourself with version 7 and then carefully follow the steps in the Major Upgrade from 6.x document in order to avoid confusion or loss of configuration data. When upgrading from a previous 7.x version, the changes are not as obvious, but it is still important to read the Major Upgrade from 7.x document.

To demonstrate how the Server, Admin, and Client components interact, these installation steps describe a first-time installation of all three functions on a single host computer. Our tour will generally describe Windows file naming conventions and file locations. The file names for Windows installers end with .exe. The corresponding Macintosh installer file names end with .pkg. Differences between Windows versus Macintosh install locations and component file names will be explained by the installer dialogs. Consult the Options & Requirements and OS Details documents for more complete OS specific comments, including support for other operating systems, network requirements, installer customizations, and cautions.

Your desktop or laptop computer can be used to host KeyServer as well as the admin and client components, but make sure that it is configured to never “sleep” during your testing! Also check that no firewall settings will block access to the server process – it receives requests on port 19283 (udp and tcp). If you are installing within a virtual environment (e.g. vmware, parallels, etc.), it will probably be simplest to set up the virtual machine to use "bridged networking" so that the KeyServer service can open port 19283 on its own IP address.

The installers for each K2 function (Server, Client, Admin) can be run directly from any mounted volume, local, remote, or virtual – you don't even have to unzip the installer archive since each installer is self contained.

1a. Install the KeyServer process on a single computer.

Logon to a host computer with full administrative privileges. Inside the K2 image folder, the Installers folder contains sub-folders for each platform. Open the sub-folder appropriate for your host computer and run the Server installer (e.g. “K2Server.exe” or “K2Server-x64.exe” for Windows; “K2Server.pkg” for Mac).

A dialog at the end of the install will let you start the KeyServer process. It will use the default evaluation license certificate unless a custom certificate is present.

The server process, KeyServer, must be installed on one, and only one, computer host. It will support tens of thousands of connections from the client component installed on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

The installer will create a folder named “Sassafras K2” with a sub-folder, "Server", that contains the KeyServer application (ks) and it data folder (KeyServer Data Folder). On Windows, "Sassafras K2" is located in \Program Files or \Program Files (x86) with a shortcut installed in the Start menu. On Mac, “Sassafras K2” is in the Applications directory and the "Server" sub-folder is actually an alias to /Library/KeyServer/.

The KeyServer install process is nearly the same for a Windows or Macintosh host (except for file name and location details), but the process must be modified somewhat for other operating systems. Specific issues when hosting KeyServer on Linux or Solaris are dealt with in the OS Details document. But remember, you only install the server process on one computer. This one install will provide license management services throughout your network and across the Internet to all your client computers (Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, virtual, and Thin Client).

1b. If you have purchased the full K2 product, convert from evaluation mode

Without a custom license, KeyServer will use the default evaluation license file named eval.lic, which is created by the installer. If you have received by e-mail a custom server.lic license file, place it into the KeyServer Data Folder (alongside the KeyServer application). Then:

Use the services control panel to stop and restart the KeyServer process.

Use ks-StartStop (in /Library/KeyServer) to restart the KeyServer process.

You will get an error if you attempt to run the ks process simultaneously as a foreground application (by double clicking the ks executable file) and in background as it is created by the installer (i.e. as a background service or daemon). The ks process should only be started in background using the services control panel (Win) or the ks-StartStop script (Mac).

In the next steps, the client agent, KeyAccess, will be installed and the connection to KeyServer will be verified. The client install will require a restart. For the purposes of this demo tour, you can install the client on the same computer where you have installed KeyServer – in which case, you can use "localhost" when the installer requests the KeyServer address. Note: the KeyServer host computer for a large scale production environment might be dedicated to various network services and not require usage management – so, unlike our demo steps, a client install on the KeyServer host itself might not be needed.

Some demonstrations in the tour are perhaps easiest to understand if the client software is installed on at least two computers, in which case you will need to know the address of your KeyServer host (IP or DNS). To find the IP address on Windows, type “ipconfig” at the command prompt. On Macintosh, open the Network System preference and select the Ethernet interface (or use “ifconfig” in the terminal).

2a. Install KeyAccess client software – (reboot required)

Run the client installer and enter the DNS name or IP address of the KeyServer.

Note: even though the KeyServer must normally be hosted on a computer with a static IP address that has a DNS name assigned, as long as the address doesn’t change during the demo tour, a dynamically assigned address (DHCP) for the KeyServer host can be used. When installing the client on the KeyServer computer itself, the address "localhost" will usually work.

In the K2 image, from Windows Installers\Client, run K2Client.exe (on a 32 bit OS) or K2Client-x64.exe (on a 64 bit OS). Note: even though the 32 bit client can be installed on a 64 bit OS, we recommend deploying the 64 bit client to all computers with 64 bit OS – see Deployment and custom options for more.

In the K2 image, from Macintosh Installers/Client, open K2Client.pkg.

2b. Test client connection to KeyServer

After the restart with the client software installed, run the diagnostic utility, KeyVerify:

From the Start menu, open Control Panel and click on KeyAccess. Here you can double check the DNS name or IP address that you entered during the client install and then click the KeyVerify button.

From the Apple menu, open System Preferences and click on KeyAccess. Here you can double check the DNS name or IP address that you entered during the client install and then click the KeyVerify button.

Assuming that the KeyServer process is running (with either with a custom license or with an unexpired evaluation license), you will see a dialog stating “KeyServer has granted you permission to run KeyVerify”, and the KeyVerify window will show details about your KeyServer connection. If instead you see a message that KeyServer is not responding, check that the address you are using is correct and that the KeyServer process is started. If Windows is hosting KeyServer, open the Services control panel and check the status of the KeyServer service. If Macintosh is hosting KeyServer, use Activity Monitor to look for “ks” running in the root account.

A similar client install sequence must eventually be run on all computers that will access K2’s software auditing and license management services - but running the KeyVerify diagnostic step is rarely necessary. In order to help automate client deployment, both the Windows and Macintosh client installers can be pre-configured with your target KeyServer address. Then standard large scale deployment or computer image management techniques can be used to automate the install (see the deployment documentation).

3a. Install KeyConfigure, the administrative interface for K2

From the appropriate Admin folder in the K2 image, run the admin installer (e.g. “K2Admin.exe” for Windows or “K2Admin.pkg” for Mac). You can accept all of the installer defaults.

Note that it is not necessary to install KeyConfigure on the same computer that is hosting the KeyServer process, but it is convenient to install it here for this demo tour. At a typical site, KeyConfigure might be installed on the KeyServer host but also it would be installed on a few other computers, both Macintosh and Windows, in order to support remote administration by the management team.

3b. Test an admin connection to KeyServer

Launch KeyConfigure using the shortcut in the “Sassafras K2” group from the Start menu.
Double-click on KeyConfigure in the /Applications/Sassafras K2/Admin folder.

The initial password, "Sassafras", should be changed at your first login.

The word “Server” in this dialog simply means the IP address of the KeyServer host computer – there is no "server OS" implication intended! Try using "localhost" if running KeyConfigure on the KeyServer computer itself.

If KeyServer has failed to start, KeyConfigure won't connect. Its license certificate may have expired – find the eval.lic or server.lic file in the KeyServer Data Folder and open it with a text editing program to check the value of the “license.expires=” line. Also check firewall settings on the host and network devices to make sure that the KeyServer process was able to open port 19283 and that it is able to receive incoming traffic (udp and tcp) addressed to this port.

KeyConfigure's main list windows, Computers, Products, Policies, and Purchases, will be displayed in their "standard" position. If you move these windows around you can always return them to the initial layout by selecting "Standard View" from the Window menu. Click on "Custom View" instead to recall your own custom window layout – but first you must arrange a layout and capture it using the same menu item but with the ctrl-key (Win) or option-key (Mac) held down.

4. Enable KeyReporter, the web server that gives a simple front end to K2 [Optional].

When KeyConfigure connects to a new KeyServer installation for the first time, you will be prompted to turn on KeyReporter. The wizard will check availability of the standard web service ports.

KeyReporter opens the web server port 80 by default. If there is already a web server running on this computer, the wizard will notice that this port is unavailable. You may set KeyReporter to use alternate ports or postpone starting the KeyReporter service until you have a chance to relocate the conflicting service. If KeyReporter is not enabled, access to reports from a web browser, scheduled reporting, and report archiving features will be unavailable but the rest of K2 functionality will be unaffected.

After enabling KeyReporter you will see a link and you can take a look at the UI. But of course most of the widgets will show "no data" at this point. Even at the end of this tour, with one or two client computers and minimal usage, many widgets simply won't be interesting to look at in your data. To get an idea of the power and flexibility the dashboard will provide in a production environment, take a look at the Dashboard feature page on our website.


Now with the essential components installed, the following steps in this quick tour are designed to explore the basic concepts and features of K2. It is important to follow the tour sequence exactly since each step depends on the context set up by the previous steps.

Before you start exploring K2 features, you should be aware that some of KeyConfigure’s actions cannot be undone. In particular, the optional feature that lets you transform a program into a “keyed” copy is not reversible – only a backup or reinstall will restore the original. Rather than experiment blindly, it is best to carefully follow the steps in this tour and then use the KeyConfigure Help menu, context menu help, and the help search feature for more detailed and specific information.

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