About WibuKey protection

by GRAPHISOFT, Judit Boros and Marton Kiss · updated: 06.16.2016

Basic ideas

WibuKey is a hardware protection key for ARCHICAD and other Graphisoft products. It has been used for ARCHICAD since version 7.0. Since ARCHICAD 13, both WibuKey and CodeMeter keys are available for ARCHICAD. From ARCHICAD 19 on only CodeMeter hardware and software-based protection keys are supported. ARCHICAD 18 was the last version which supports Wibu key protection. A protection key (also known as “keyplug” “wibu-box” or “dongle”) is necessary to run ARCHICAD in “commercial” mode. (See different ARCHICAD licensing options).



WibuKeys are backwards compatible. That is, a WibuKey programmed for ARCHICAD 16 can run previous versions back to ARCHICAD 7.0 (or, with proper tools installed, back to 6.0).


The internal memory of a WibuKey does not allow supporting more than 3 products. Therefore it can not hold all the key-protected Graphisoft products (ARCHICAD, EcoDesigner Star, BIMx and MEP Modeler ) at the same time. This is why CodeMeter, as a newer option was introduced with ARCHICAD 13. WibuKey also does not support license borrowing. Running different versions of ARCHICAD parallel on a computer may result more than one used license on the Wibu Server. For details see: ProtectionKey#WibuKey_compatibility

Single and NET keys

WibuKeys can be programmed to hold a Single ARCHICAD license, or multiple licenses (up to 99), in which case it is called a NET key. To share ARCHICAD licenses in a computer network, the WibuKey Server application has to be installed and run. More about the NET keys: WibuKey/Server

Tools and Drivers

To access licenses in a WibuKey, the WibuKey driver needs to be installed. Installing ARCHICAD versions 7.0 to 12 will automatically install a WibuKey driver. From ARCHICAD 13, installing the WibuKey driver is optional (you have to choose either WibuKey or CodeMeter during the ARCHICAD install process). The drivers can also be installed separately from the ARCHICAD Install DVD, or can be downloaded from this page:


During installing the drivers, the WibuKey should NOT be plugged, and rebooting the computer after installing is recommended. Note that installing an older version of ARCHICAD may replace a more current driver with an older version. After installing an older version of ARCHICAD, we recommend to re-install the latest WibuKey driver from http://www.graphisoft.com/support/archicad/downloads/WIBU.html.

In case of NET keys, the same version of the WibuKey driver needs to be installed on all machines where ARCHICAD is installed. On the key server machine (the machine that runs the WibuKey Server application) these components need to be installed:

Note that the “key server” machine can be any computer in the network, it does not have to run a server operating system and it does not have to have ARCHICAD installed.

Manage WibuKey settings

The WIBU-KEY Control Panel (PC)

The main WibuKey management instrument on PC is the WIBU-KEY Control Panelwhich is accessible from the Windows Control panel.


This control panel has a so called “Advanced View”. It can be activated in the system menu or by clicking onto the WIBU-KEY ICON title bar. (red rectangle)


Functions of the WibuKey control panel:

  • Contents : displays WIBU-BOXes connected locally or to a WkLAN server.
  • Test : basic connectivity test for local WIBU-BOXes.
  • Server : configure WIBU-KEY server options.
  • Server Access : configure client access permissions. Here is where you can set who can access the licenses on a NET key
  • Server WkNet : configure WkNet server options.
  • Network : client network settings. Here is where you can define the address of a WibuKey Server
  • WIBU-BOX Context : save WIBU-BOX content to a file (Remote Programming Context File).
  • WIBU-BOX Update : update WIBU-BOX from Remote Programming Update File.
  • Setup : interface and driver configuration.
  • Install : install, uninstall or update WIBU-KEY drivers Diagnosis Display driver diagnosis messages.
  • About : software information.

The WkConfig application (Mac)

The WkConfig .app is the Mac counterpart of the WibuKey Control panel. It is located in the Applications/WIBUKEY folder

  • WkConfigContents.jpg

Functions of WkConfig :

  • Contents: Shows the codes of the programmed key content – if no data appears on this page, then the computer does not recognize the key at all.
  • Client: Enables/disables and orders the Subsystems: ‘Local’ enables/disables the use of a key attached to the local computer, and WkLAN does the same for a NET key on a different computer. You can change the search order of subsystems – should ARCHICAD look for a local or a network key first. If WkLAN is enabled, you can also define the address of the WibuKey Server. (see details at WibuKey/Server)WkConfigClient.jpg
  • Server: Basic Server settings (see details at WibuKey/Server)
  • Update: Lets you create and load a “remote Context Files” (not used by Graphisoft)
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