Authorizing Live for all users on macOS (without Sassafras)

  • Live Versions: Live 9.1 and above
  • Operating System: Mac

Step 1: Install Live

  • Login with admin credentials to the computer.
  • Install the latest version of Live. You can download this from your Ableton.com user account.

Step 2: Authorize Live

  • Launch Live. The authorization screen will pop up.
  • Follow the instructions to authorize Live online (the easiest method). You can also authorize offline if the computer is not connected to the internet.
  • Once successfully authorized, close Live.

Step 3: Copy the Unlock.cfg file

Live's authorization is stored in a file called Unlock.cfg.

  • Open Finder and click "Go" from menu bar. Press and hold "alt/option", then click on the Library shortcut which appears. (This is the user level library which is normally hidden).
  • From the Library folder go to: Application Support/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Unlock/
  • Copy the Unlock.cfg file contained there:

unlock.cfg_first_.png

Step 4: Manually create a new Unlock folder in a shared location

You can now create an unlock folder in a shared location so that all users of the computer can access the same unlock file.

  • In Finder go to: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support
  • Create a new folder and name it Ableton. Within this folder create a new folder called Live x.x.x. (replace x.x.x with the correct Live version, e.g. Live 10.0.6)
  • Within this folder create a new folder called Unlock. 
  • The entire path of the newly created folder structure should be: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Unlock
  • Now paste the copied Unlock.cfg into this newly created Unlock folder.

unlock.cfg_.png

Step 5: Delete the default Unlock folder

In order for Live to use the unlock file in the newly created shared location, the default unlock folder needs to be deleted:

  • Delete the default Unlock folder (Macintosh HD/Users/[Username]/Library/Application Support/Ableton/Live x.x.x./Unlock/)

Step 6: Disable automatic updates using a shared Preferences file

Live auto-updates will break this configuration, so we recommend you disable automatic updates for all users on the computer:

  • Open this folder: Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/
  • Create a new folder called Ableton, then within that, another folder with Live's version number (e.g. Live 10.0.6).
  • The full path of the newly created folder should be: Macintosh HD:/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/
  • Create a plain text file (using TextEdit). In the Format menu click "Make Plain Text".
  • Add this line to the text file: -_DisableAutoUpdates.
  • Save the text file and name it Options.txt
  • Move the text file into the newly created shared folder: Macintosh HD:/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

disable_auto_updates.png

Step 7: Delete the default Preferences folder

In order for Live to use the Preferences file in the newly created shared location, the default Preferences folder needs to be deleted:

  • Delete the default Preferences folder (Macintosh HD/Users/[current user]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x)

Step 8: Log-in as a standard user and test

Login with a standard user account and test to see that Live launches without asking for authorization.

Step 9: Repeat steps 1-8 on every computer

This process needs to be repeated on all computers in the lab.

Step 10: Install Live Packs (optional)

Live Packs are quite large and should be installed only once on a machine so that they can be shared by all users on that computer. To install your Ableton Live Packs in a shared location:

  • Create a folder for Live Packs in a shared location on the computer, for example MacintoshHD/Users/Shared/Ableton/Factory Packs/

Shared_Packs__macOS_.gif

  • From Live's Preferences > Library tab, set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you just created.
  • Then, download and install your Ableton Live Packs.
  • Each user can then set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you’ve created, and access the installed Packs.