What is LDK?

LDK is a replacement for the HLS security used for the Harlequin Server RIP. It allows Global Graphics to provide you with more flexible licensing options, including:

  • The ability to secure RIPs without dongles. If you wish to do so you can continue to use dongles with LDK, but that will negate many of the advantages of using LDK.
  • More robust security under virtual machines (but note that VM cluster solutions are not yet supported).
  • More robust network licenses, e.g. for use in rack‐mounts for digital front ends for digital presses.

Which Harlequin RIP versions is LDK applicable to?

The Sentinel LDK can be used from HMR v10 onwards. It is not available with Harlequin Server RIP (HSR) 9 or earlier. With HMR v11 or later only Sentinel LDK security is available.

What kinds of license are available with LDK?

LDK licenses can be provided in four forms:


The license is tied to characteristics of the computer on which the LDK Server is running (typically the same computer as the RIP). These characteristics do not need to be known at the time the license is ordered; they are read when the RIP installation is activated. A soft‐lock will not enable a RIP on a virtual machine (VM).


The license is tied to characteristics of the computer on which the LDK Server is running, and will enable a RIP to run within a VM. A VMlock will run in a bare metal OS (i.e. outside of a virtual machine), but has some disadvantages in that configuration.


The license is provided as a Product Key that can easily be e‐mailed, but must then be programmed into a suitable dongle.

Pre‐programmed dongle

The license is supplied as a hard‐lock that has already been programmed into a dongle by Global Graphics. Using this approach voids many of the advantages of LDK.

Note: The form required (including soft‐lock vs VM‐lock), must be known at the time the order for the license is placed with Global Graphics. Most of the next few sections deal with soft‐locks and VM‐locks.

What’s in an LDK license?

LDK licenses include all information that HLS would previously read from:

  • The dongle.
  • Permit files.
  • Gencust passwords.
  • Dongle‐specific passwords.

It is important to note that:

  • There are no add‐on passwords with LDK.
  • Option passwords do not work with an LDK license; the information is encoded in to the license at order time.
  • All licensed features, including the RIP itself, layered options and plugins are held within the LDK license.

How is an LDK license associated with a specific RIP installation?

An LDK license needs to be activated to tie it to specific hardware, either the computer itself (for soft and VM‐locks) or a dongle (for hard‐locks). This uses a process similar to activations of products from other vendors such as Microsoft Windows or Adobe Photoshop.

What are Product Keys and Protection Key IDs?

A Product Key is a string generated by the entitlement management system (EMS) at Global Graphics and supplied to the end user for use in activating an LDK license or an addition to an LDK license. It is comparable to the “activation code” or “serial number” used in activation processes for many other common computer operating systems and applications.

Delivering the Product Key is equivalent to delivering the license.

A Product Key always contains 36 characters and hyphens. For example:


Once activated, each activation can be identified using a Protection Key ID. The length of the Protection Key ID varies, but is shorter than 36 characters, and contains no hyphens. For example:


There are two numbers because the Product Key references the order (entitlement), whereas the Protection Key ID(s) references the activated license(s). A single entitlement may enable more than one activation, and therefore there may be multiple Protection Key IDs per Product Key.


The only license type for which you will not automatically see a Product Key is for a preprogrammed dongle. In this case the Protection Key ID will be printed on the dongle itself.

LDK for SetGold

LDK licenses can also be used with SetGold or SetGold Pro version 5 and later. Earlier versions connected directly to an HLS dongle used to protect a Harlequin RIP. That is still an option in v5, but it is recommended that LDK is used for all new SetGold installations, even if they are used in conjunction with a RIP licensed using HLS, because there will be no migration paths offered from dongled to LDK security for SetGold when HLS support is withdrawn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.