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I have MATLAB installed on my laptop which should connect to a certain host that stores license information. I used to be able to use MATLAB anywhere that I had an internet connection. Recently, I have noted that MATLAB can only access the license server only from local network and not outside.

Is it possible to somehow ask MATLAB to connect to the license server via ssh tunneling through my computer at work? I have tried forwarding my localhost to a remote port on my work computer and forward that remote port to the server license but that does not seem to work. Any ideas?

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If your institution limit's the server access to local hosts, you may try to ask them if they can provide you with a "VPN access".

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You can use tsocks for this purpose:

apt-get install tsocks

Now you can establish an ssh tunnel:

ssh -D 1080 username@serverAdress

In a new terminal, you can now use this command to start Matlab and let it obtain its license via the tunnel:

tsocks /opt/MATLAB/R2014a/bin/matlab

In case it can not resolve the DNS of your license server, you may have to replace the DNS in /opt/MATLAB/R2014a/licenses/network.lic by the IP address.

Unfortunately, I did not manage to use the Matlab GUI like this. The non-gui version successfully obtains its license via the ssh tunnel.

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