Cloud Zoo License Management Available in Rhino 6

What is the Cloud Zoo?

  • A cloud-based license management system that:
    • Allows you to use Rhino by logging into the Cloud Zoo using your Rhino Account.
    • Allows you to track and manage your licenses and users. (
    • Keeps track of the licenses you own. (
    • Manages your licenses across multiple computers and users. (Run anywhere your license allows)
    • Allows you to use Rhino on multiple machines as long as you abide by the license agreement.
  • A new option: It does not replace the existing license key system or Zoo. You can continue to use them.


  • A Rhino Account (Create one at
  • Add your Rhino 6 license key to the the Cloud Zoo
  • An Internet connection when starting Rhino (you can disconnect afterward).


  • No need to deal with license keys when using Rhino.
  • Use Rhino on multiple machines with ease.
  • Rhino keeps working when you’re not connected to the Internet (an infrequent connection is required).

How to use the Cloud Zoo:

To switch from a standalone license:

  1. From the Tools menu click Options.
  2. In the Options dialog box, click the Licenses page.
  3. Click the Change your license key button.
  4. In the Licensing dialog box, select Login.
  5. Log in to your Rhino Account when prompted, and grant access for Rhino to access the requested information from your account.

If you don’t have a license key for Rhino:

  1. In the Licensing dialog box, select Login.
  2. Log in to your Rhino Account when prompted, and grant access for Rhino to access the requested information from your account.

You will know you are logged in by clicking the Help menu then clicking About Rhinoceros - you’ll see your avatar and username on the splash screen.


What if I want to switch back to standalone?

  1. Remove the license from Cloud Zoo.
  2. From the Tools menu click Options.
  3. In the Options dialog box, click the Licenses page.
  4. Click the Change your license key button.
  5. In the Licensing dialog box, select Enter your license key, enter your license details, then click OK.

What if I want to have a different Cloud Zoo user use Rhino on my computer?

  1. At the Command prompt, type Logout to log out of your Rhino account.
  2. Follow the steps in “How to use Rhino Accounts Licensing,” above.

Questions, feedback? Please ask!

1 Like

This looks like a great option for single person shops or consultancies.
From the description ,this is semi persistent licencing.

It seems to me, for on-demand licence use, Zoo will continue to the appropriate solution for medium - large organizations.

Please keep us posted when the user management part is progressed.

As a system admin with a pool of Rhino seats,
Let’s say a register all of our seats under a system admin’s Rhino account.

How do I allow employees and contractors to access those seats using their individual Rhino Accounts?
How do I stop ex-employees ( terminated, departed, end of contract) from using those seats?

Until then ,we will continue to rely on the Zoo…
even if it needs an entire VM by it self because it is squatting on port 80. :slight_smile:

@AlexYau, we envision that this will eventually become the main method for using Rhino (And related products further down the line) for anyone who has semi-regular Internet access.

The system is designed to benefit different audiences for different reasons–from single users to very large and complex organizations.

For individual users, the system will allow them to forget about license keys after they purchase Rhino. They will simply use their Rhino Account (like you do to login to Discourse) to login to Rhino on any device. This minimizes the pain of forgetting the license key when getting a new computer in the future, having trouble validating after hardware updates/OS reinstalls, etc…

Unlike some vendors, users using the system can be offline for long periods of time without having their workflow interrupted.

For teams of more than 1 person, the system has additional benefits in addition to what I’ve written above:

  • (Obviously!) Managed by us in the cloud, so it can be accessed anywhere in the world where port 443 (HTTPS) is allowed without having to deal with VPNs/VMs.
  • Rich, web-based interface to manage all the licenses as well as Rhino Accounts users in your organization. You will be able to have one or more admins and terminate membership to your organization for any user at any time.

Alas, such interface does not yet exist, but I am working to publish something soon. When that happens, I will make sure to post it here on Discourse.

It is worth noting that the system is still a work-in-progress and may evolve significantly in the coming months. Also worth noting is that for computers who don’t have internet access at all or devices that are locked down, the regular Zoo or standalone licenses will continue to be good solutions for such scenarios.


The Cloud Zoo name is back. Sorry about trying out other confusing names.

Good morning Andres.
I would like to get more info about the zoo license management for LOC. & LOT activities

If a teacher is on the road and want to Teach Rhino through live online courses /trainings + online follow up for 10 to 20 students also on the road during 1 year. Would it be possible to share a Rhino license and manage it with zoo to decide who and when one may use it.

In other words, is it possible today to share and lock a Rhino license on demand to let students learn and use Rhino outside of a classroom for the period of a curriculum?

Teaching in a classroom is not always the best solution nowadays , it becomes necessary to offer more options for teachers on the road who are collaborating with various EDU organisations.

Thank you in advance for your answer
R. Santos

Hi @KlikOSx,

With Cloud Zoo, you can easily set up a team. You are then able to invite and remove members from your team at any time. You can invite your students at the beginning of the class period and remove them at the end—they will only be able to use your licenses while they are part of your team.

I hope this overview helps.

1 Like

Thank you very much for your quick answer, very kind.
Cloud Zoo seems to be a good option for me.

1 : May I ask you if there is a support material available online showing the procedure to do what you describe in your reply : create & manage a EDU team.
I only found a one year old video on VIMEO explaining ZOO ( but still can’t figure out precisely how to start with CLOUD ZOO.

2 : Using a NFR license owned by my company and a 2 EDU lab licenses owned by different schools, may I use all of them individually to create dedicated teams (students) for a limited period or is there any restriction to take into account?

Thank you in advance for you answer.

Best regards

1 : May I ask you if there is a support material available online showing the procedure to do what you describe in your reply : create & manage a EDU team.

There is no finished documentation for this as of yet (we’re working on it as we speak), but you can go to -> Teams and manage your teams there. It should be self-explanatory.

To manage/add your licenses you can go to -> Licenses

2 : Using a NFR license owned by my company and a 2 EDU lab licenses owned by different schools, may I use all of them individually to create dedicated teams (students) for a limited period or is there any restriction to take into account?

I do not know for sure so I will have @jody answer that question. I believe you may not use an NFR for this purpose.

@KlikOSx no, you may not add educational lab licenses owned by different schools to your account since you do not own those licenses. Additionally, if the two labs are owned by two different schools they should not be in the same account.

I am including my colleagues in Barcelona on this topic so you can inquire with them if you need to purchase licenses. @carlosperez @delia @Rodri

It sounds to me like you are perhaps talking about 10-20 students away from the EDU institution over the course of a year, but only one (or maybe 2-3) at a time?

From Jodie’s response it sounds to me like you need to have the students (and perhaps yourself as a teacher, if you don’t have a Rhino license yourself) be authorized to check out a copy from the EDU institution’s Zoo.

Just trying to re-phrase the question and answer here. If I’m way off-base I’m sure the people with the right answers will clarify.

Thank you very much for your clear replies Andrès & Jody.

If understood well the rules I have 3 options :

1 Use the NFR license I own to manage all teams with one single account.
Is this is authorized by McNeel for EDU purposes.

2 Manage all accounts individually with the authorization of the EDU institutions.
This mean that the emails associated to the accounts must be individuals.

3 In case the NFR lic can’t be used, buy another Lab license through my company and dedicate it to the reverse pedagogy I want to setup in the context of the EDU landscape.

I already own a Single User Rhino for Mac EDU license but it can’t be used for that purpose I think.

Best regards.

If any of you want to clarify few points regarding my activities, feel free to contact me any time.
R. Santos.

Hi @KlikOSx
Please send me your license keys (to and I can let you know how to manage these, but to summarize:

  • Edu single-user licenses cannot be shared, they are personal
  • Lab licenses: the school or university owning one of this might give access to their students via the Cloud Zoo, but never share the license key with them
  • NFR licenses: these can be used only by the reseller or partner owning them


And any type of license needs to be managed by its legal owner.

This is so much fun…

So I completely uninstalled my Rhino 6 and wiped out the registry and other entries (as per instructions here) in the hopes that it would fix the Osnap and SelectionFilter switching situation as suggested by these posts…

I also thought it would be a good time to put my license into my Rhino account in the “cloud” as the uninstall above also takes out all the licensing info.


Install the newly downloaded Beta. Then for the license, as prompted, I log in to my Rhino account and throw in the license key.

Surprise #1- I get this:

The above mentioned computer is of course my home workstation 30 Km away… The computer is off, but whatever. Didn’t think I was going to do this today, so was not prepared.

OK, well, I guess I’ll just add add back in the license locally as it was before, so I can work this afternoon, then remove it when I quit for the day and go home.

Then comes surprise #2-
Upon trying to enter my license key locally - after at least 3 message screens with warnings like "Are you SURE you want to add your license locally? You’ll only be able to use it on this machine…" - I finally get this:


And of course the link leads back to my Rhino account, where I can’t add the license…

And then surprise #3-


OK, glad I didn’t actually have to do any work this afternoon…

Finally a Beta which is unable to save actually opens, but without toolbars. _Toolbar is an unknown command, and there is no plug-ins section in Options. Close Rhino again and open it, toolbars finally appear and things look more or less normal (default)…

And funnily enough, I can save files. It doesn’t appear to have registered my previously existing license key, so I now have some sort of valid temp license I guess… who knows? I only hope that when I get home, I can remove the license from my home workstation and get it into my Rhino account without it throwing more roadblocks in the way…

Anyway, I predict that licensing questions are going to be the #1 support question for resellers/tech support for awhile…

EDIT: Addendum - after having saved one file with the file still open, I went into Options to load my custom toolbars. Having done that, Rhino went back to being an “expired Beta”. Closing and re-opening, it again opened without any toolbars (neither mine nor default) or plug-ins section. Plus the whole validation thing which fails of course. So NOW, everything is completely useless. I sure hope this won’t be a typical user experience.


So now I was able to get my license into my Rhino account from home - still more screens than I would have liked in between the Rhino license manager in options and the open Rhino account on the web page… Far from “automatic”. And, I have yet a third computer (my laptop) that also has the Beta installed as a fixed license yet the online license manager seems completely unaware of it…

But I still do not understand why this happened in the first place, I have an NFR license which should (theoretically) permit me to have the same fixed license on several computers and even use them simultaneously, like a lab license. So why all the c*** in this case?



I believe you have a beta license that precedes Cloud Zoo. In those days (before June 2017 or so), you were able to install a license on multiple machines, but our license policy has changed so that you may only install a license on ONE machine, or put it in the cloud.

Naturally there are many end users like you who had installed a beta license before and are understandably left in an incompatible state because the license had been installed on different machines at different points in time. What happened is you inadvertently kicked yourself out because of this inconsistency in our system, since our validation servers today will only accept a license that is not in use elsewhere.

Of course, in the commercial release of Rhino 6, this case should not occur because everyone starts from a clean state, so it should never be possible to have a license in multiple places at the same time.

I’m sure there will be issues, but I thought you’d like an explanation why you experienced so much pain.

If it’s only me, then there’s nothing to worry about… Maybe I’m totally out in left field, but I have a feeling there will be a number of people who are going to expect it to work like it used to with one license on several machines without setting up a Rhino account, and are going to try going that route first.

That’s also why I want to make sure all the info is in one place so we can get it to clients - @scottd preferably a PDF “how-to” that includes all the info about licenses currently on the Wiki that we simply can send to clients - in all languages. Because as resellers we are going to get a lot of questions…

So there are a couple issues here.

  1. There is a change in behavior here that is going to be hard. People expect that the license will work on several machines by installing stand-alone. That is not true with Rhino 6. Rhino accounts solves this problem and is the default licensing scheme, but you are right that it is a habit and expectation from existing users. We have been working to make the language clear on this, even in the installer.

  2. I agree with one place for information on licensing.

To make this more complicated there are different ways to present this information:

  1. What’s new with Rhino 6:
  2. And a concise explanation on how Rhino licensing works:

The concise explanation page needs additional links to how-to

1 Like

OK, thanks Scott. You mention “Rhino account” in the both places, plus “Cloud Zoo”. I think it needs to be made clearer that everyone is going to be required to create a Rhino account in order to use the Cloud Zoo service. I think that Rhino account should be mentioned first everywhere - i.e.

Cloud Zoo (New) - Make your licenses available anywhere in the world by logging into your Rhino account


There are now three ways to use your license:

  1. “Create a Rhino account and use the Cloud Zoo”

And, I still would really like a PDF of all of that…


1 Like

Mitch -

We gone back and forth on the Rhino Account/Cloud Zoo terminology. I expect over time the Rhino Account term will gain a larger meaning then just and association with Cloud Zoo. So while much of it might seem interchangeable, that will change as time goes on.

@bobmcneel has some thoughts on that.