Activation procedure for pdfaPilot CLI


To use any callas product on a computer, you need to activate it first. This is true if you have bought a license key but also if you want to run the trial software. This article explains how the normal activation procedure for callas pdfaPilot CLI works and which steps you have to go through.


Activation code request

Open a terminal window and change to your pdfaPilot CLI installation directory.


pdfaPilot --keycode <name> <company> <licenceCode>


  • name: Name of license (e.g. "Registered User").
  • company: Name of company (e.g. "User's company").
  • licenceCode: Licence key obtained from the registration card.
    To make a request for a trial version, please use the keyword "trial" (for a pdfaPilot trial version).

The textual output of --keycode has to be send via e-mail to the e-mail address named in the text in order to receive an activation code from the registration server.


After having received the automatical reply e-mail to the activation request, save the attached licence file to the file system.


pdfaPilot --activate <licence file>


  • licence file: Full path to licence file.

NOTE: In order to activate pdfaPilot CLI for all user accounts of one machine, save the activated license file next to the pdfaPilot binary. This file must be named "License.txt". The activated license file will be stored in the user-preferences when the normal activation (command above) is used. To create an activated license file at a custom location, just use the following command: pdfaPilot --activate <licence file> -o=<path to result folder/License.txt>.

NOTE: pdfaPilot CLI is searching for the license file at various folders:

  • User-preferences-folder of actual user.
  • Next to the pdfaPilot CLI binary.
  • Cachefolder (if set).
  • User-preferences-folder for all users (shared).

NOTE: When using UNIX-based-systems the environment variable "CALLAS_SYSTEM_PREFERENCES" the path of the standard "/usr/share/callas software/callas pdfaPilot CLI" can be changed: "CALLAS_SYSTEM_PREFERENCES=tmp" would result in the searchpath: "/tmp/callas software/callas pdfaPilot CLI". It is highly recommended to use the option --cachefolder instead.


As the activation (and the resulting license file) is bound to the hardware. It is necessary to deactivate a license on one machine before a activation takes place on the new machine.


pdfaPilot --deactivate <activation code>


  • activation code: Unique identifier for each license.

NOTE: The respective license will be removed from the system.

NOTE: To complete the deactivation, the output of the command has to be sent manually to the activation server by e-mail. The activation code for all license are listed using the status command: pdfaPilot --status.


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