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If you found this page while pulling your hair and cursing to the gods then I feel your pain. The good news is I’m going to share some really obvious tips here that will make your day a whole lot better. On a high level you need to check these things, then I’ll show the details further down for those who need their hand held a little longer.

  • Proper license setup on each client machine.
  • Install the HQueue Client AND License Administrator on each client machine.
  • Firewall settings on the server machine. Because the defaults don’t work.
  • Server shared directory (C:\HQueueServer\shared) mapped to H: on all clients and accessible in file explorer.
  • HQueueClient Service Logon Permissions.

 

LICENSE SETUP:

First things first. You need to register for the Free Houdini Engine Indie license on SideFx website for EACH client machine you’ll be setting up. This replaced the HBatch bullshit you find on all the old posts when you google. Go through the checkout process and grab the quantity you need for the total number of machines you’ll be adding to your network farm.

After that you’ll get an email confirming you have the license(s) on your account. Now you’re ready to go to install the HQClient on each machine.

INSTALL THE CLIENTS:

Run the installer for Houdini on each client machine and make sure the HQUEUE Client AND the License Administrator Server are checked. Un-check everything else.

Now run the License Administrator from the Start menu and add the Houdini Engine license to the client machine. I also added the render non commercial that came with it.

NOTE: When the HQueue Server communicates with the HQClient service the client checks its local license when running the scripts/houdini engine from the shared directory on the server. If you don’t do this you’ll get all kinds of license errors, but you already know this.

WINDOWS FIREWALL SETTINGS ON SERVER MACHINE;

Most all the permission errors people are running into are from two things. The server machine firewall settings blocking the clients from communicating to port 5000 or the HQueue Client Service not having permissions to access the shared drive on the server. We fix both of these issues here.

On the server machine bring up Windows Firewall (click windows menu icon, start typing firewall). Click the Advanced Settings text on the left side menu. Select Inbound Rules, then New Rule.

Follow the wizard snapshots below. You’re adding a new rule for inbound TCP requests for PORT 5000. You’re only allowing this from your private network.

SHARED DIRECTORY SETUP:

On each client machine you want to make sure you can access the SHARED DIRECTORY you setup as Drive H.

On my setup it was just on my main machine running Houdini Indie. I have the HQueue Server installed and created the SHARED directory inside the (C:\HQueueServer) directory during install.

My setup looks like this:

If you mapped the shared directory on each of your client machines correctly, when you open it up it should look just like it does on the server shared directory (the HQ directory created for you during install of the HQueueServer).

This is important as the project files you’ll be working with get copied into that shared directory for all the clients to access and process. They then drop the results all back into “render” or “sim” directories in the same shared space. Map Drive H everywhere!

HQUEUE CLIENT SERVICE LOGON PERMISSIONS:

If you’ve googled around you’ll find posts about people only being able to run the .bat file and not being able to use the default installation setup as a service. This is all BS, pretend like you never read it. Delete those bookmarks, they will only make you dumber. This is an easy fix.

Load up your services control panel (Windows Start icon, start typing “Services”). Click on any service and tap “H” key until you’ve highlighted the HQueueClient service. Right click and then select Properties.

Select Log On TAB, then in “This Account” area click BROWSE button. Click Advanced Button, Find Now Button, then select your currently logged in account. Enter the password you use to login to your client machine then click Apply. You’ll get some pop ups saying you need to restart the service for this to take effect. Accept all that then go already and click Restart the Service while making sure your HQueueClient is still highlighted.

THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR:

Now if you go back to your HQueue Dashboard on the server machine browser (yourservernameorip:5000) and refresh the Clients view you’ll see magic and unicorns. Now you can go back to learning how to use all this HQueue stuff (Slicing, Rendering with multiple machines,etc) inside Houdini Indie!

OSX PARALLELS WINDOWS 10:

Yes it works! Use this same process if you own Parallels on OSX. Now if you’re like me and installed the OSX version first to try and make it work, keep in mind you’ll have TWO License servers running on the same machine. So make sure you pull down your license for Houdini Engine Indie inside Windows 10 VM and that you’re pointing to the Windows 10 install of License Administrator. These days it’s hard to tell since desktops are so integrated. If you only followed this guide to install into a Windows 10 VM on Parallels then you’re good to go.

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