Authorizing Live for all users on macOS with Sassafras

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: Mac

Using Sassafras:

Sassafras KeyServer must be installed on one computer and visible on the network to all client computers.

KeyAccess Client (available in the Sassafras KeyClient package) must be installed on each machine you want to use Live on, and the IP address or DNS name of the KeyServer computer must be supplied in the appropriate place during the client install.

Put the license file (ableton_xxx.lic) you received from Ableton into the “KeyServer Data Folder” of your Sassafras KeyServer installation. This license file is available from Ableton Support upon request.

Stop and then start the KeyServer service (a restart might not be enough).

Watch Sassafras installation setup tutorials.

Setting up Live for multi-user authorization:

Install Live

Manually create a Preferences folder in a shared location 

  • Open this folder: Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/
  • Create a new folder called Ableton and within this folder create a new folder called Live x.x.x. (replace x.x.x with the correct Live version, e.g. Live 11.1)          
  • The full path of the newly created folder should be:
    Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/               


Create an Options.txt file and add it to the shared Preferences folder

  • Using TextEdit, create a plain text file. In the Format menu click "Make Plain Text".
  • Add this line to the text file: -LicenseServer
  • Auto-updates will break the multi-user configuration, so we recommend that you disable them for all users by also adding this line: -_DisableAutoUpdates
  • Save the text file and name it Options.txt
  • Move the text file into the shared Preferences folder you just created


Delete the default Preferences folder

  • Open Finder and click "Go" from the menu bar. Press and hold the "alt/option" key, then click on the Library shortcut which appears.
  • Navigate to /Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x and if it exists, delete the /Live x.x.x folder (replace x.x.x with the correct Live version, e.g. Live 11.1).
  • Full path: MacintoshHD/Users/[AdminUsername]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x


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.

Repeat the above steps on every computer

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

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.

Note: Due to the Sassafras authorization system, Live Packs that are not bundled by default with the Live license (e.g., additionally purchased Packs) cannot be authorized using Sassafras.

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/


  • Open Preferences → Library in order to set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you just created.
  • Then, download and install your Ableton Live Packs.
  • To set the location of the shared Packs folder for all users, navigate to the default Preferences folder at MacintoshHD/Users/[AdminUsername]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x and copy the Library.cfg file. Then navigate to the shared Preferences folder you created at Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/ and paste the Library.cfg file there.

  • Alternatively, each user can manually set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you have created, and access the installed Packs. 

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: