License Options

Class Kit License (CKL)

For lesson preparation, classroom use, homework, and activities for ordinary courses, you should use the Class Kit License. This license is also available remotely on the Eng-Grid (see On Linux below), as well as on Citrix. Instructions for Citrix can be found here: We can run 90 simultaneous instances of COMSOL under the Class Kit License.

Research License (FNL)

For research, BU offers a floating network license which allows us to install COMSOL on any BU owned machine. This license is also available remotely on Eng-Grid (see On Linux below). We can only run 3 simultaneous instances of COMSOL under the Research license. It is important to note that running batch jobs on Eng-Grid uses a separate license pool of 3 batch licenses. See Grid/BatchComsol.

Available Modules

  • AC/DC
  • CAD Import
  • CFD
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • ECAD Import
  • Heat Transfer
  • LiveLink for Excel

  • LiveLink for MATLAB

  • MEMS
  • Microfluidics
  • Molecular Flow
  • Multibody Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Structural Materials
  • Optimization
  • Particle Tracing
  • RF
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Wave Optics

On Linux

COMSOL is available on all machines in all of the public Linux labs in the College of Engineering. For remote access to COMSOL, you can access it through the Eng-Grid -- see the Grid instructions at . Simply ssh to and run: qlogin

You can also run a non-interactive instance of COMSOL by invoking "batch mode" when starting the program. See Grid/BatchComsol for more information.

For interactive use, run one of these quick commands to launch COMSOL with the appropriate license:

License Type


Educational license

Research license


With Matlab

There are 2 ways of getting Matlab and Comsol to talk. The first is if you're working in Comsol and would like to connect Matlab to the running instance. Simply click File > Client/Server/MATLAB > Connect to MATLAB from the menu bar. This will launch matlab if it's not running, and add the comsol toolboxes to it.

You can also run "comsol server matlab" from the command line, and it will start matlab with the comsol toolboxes already loaded.

$ qlogin
$ module load comsol/5.3a matlab/9.4 comsol/research
$ comsols server matlab
COMSOL Multiphysics server 5.3a (Build: 201) started listening on port 2036
Use the console command 'close' to exit the program

Key is using the research license for #LiveLink™ for MATLAB®

Troubleshooting 3D Rendering Errors

If your remote COMSOL interface crashes with cryptic error messages with "GLX" in the name, it's having trouble using hardware graphics rendering over the remote connection. You can try to force hardware ("direct") rendering with a VNC connection, or can just choose software rendering by appending -3drend sw to your original COMSOL startup command, for example:

comsol-research -3drend sw

On Windows

If you are a student who needs COMSOL for a class (NOT research) and are using a BU owned computer, you can install the software by running setup.exe from the version directory you want within:


You'll be asked to choose a licensing method, select <port>@<server>.

For the Class Kit License (CKL) enter:


For the research license, login to the following restricted page to view the instructions for the research license (note: this page is only accessible by Engineering IT staff. Email for assistance):

If you want to use MATLAB with COMSOL you can point the installer to the MATLAB directory when you get to the 'options' stage of the installation (assuming you alrady have MATLAB installed) in:

  • C:\Program Files\matlab

Check Availability of Licenses

If you are experiencing licensing issues, please run these commands to view the license availability:


or (in this case for the education license)

lmstat -a -c | less


If you have questions regarding operation, install, or licensing of COMSOL, please email If you have questions regarding using COMSOL or your model, try their professionally moderated forum and tutorials:

In rare situations where the forum is inappropriate, email to begin the process of submitting a ticket to COMSOL Support.

Eng-IT: Comsol (last edited 2018-09-17 17:04:00 by jkgoebel)