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Altium Designer Documentation

Altium Designer Documentation

Altium Designer Documentation

Offline Installation of Altium Designer

Using Altium Documentation
Modified by Jason Howie on Apr 11, 2017

Contents

Contents

  • Pre-Install Preparation
  • Running the Installer
    • License Agreement
    • Installation Mode
    • Select Design Functionality
    • Destination Folders
    • Ready To Install
    • Installing Altium Designer
    • Installation Complete
  • Importing Preferences from a Previous Version or Major Release
  • Altium Product Improvement Program
  • Licensing the Software
    • Switching to Offline Mode
    • Adding the License File

All Contents

The standard Altium Designer Installer requires an internet connection to complete the installation process. If it is not possible to run the installer from the target PC, then you can install Altium Designer using an Offline Installation package (commonly referred to as the Offline Installer).

Pre-Install Preparation

Contact your local Altium office or Value Added Reseller to organize your copy of the Offline Installation package. This is simply a zipped collection of the necessary installables (including extensions), along with the relevant Altium Designer Installer. The latter simply runs, as per the standard internet-based Installer, only getting the required files from elsewhere in the local unzipped content, rather than the Altium Cloud repository.

With the Offline Installer acquired, unzip to the required target PC on which you wish to install Altium Designer.

Each version of the software has its own dedicated installer, and therefore requires a dedicated offline installation package.

Running the Installer

Browse to the location on your hard disk into which you have unzipped the offline installation package, and double-click the AltiumDesigner17Setup.exe file. The Altium Designer Installer welcome page will appear.


Initial welcome page for the Altium Designer Installer.

The installer itself is wizard-based, providing a set of progressive (and intuitive) pages that collectively gather the information needed to install the software, with its initial feature set, as you require.

Click Next to continue. The following sections provide a summary of the various pages you will encounter.

License Agreement

This page of the Installer presents you with the Altium End-User License Agreement (EULA).


Read and accept Altium’s End-User License Agreement.

Before you can continue with the installation of the software, you must read through, and accept, the terms of this agreement. The agreement can be viewed in different languages, including English (the default), German, Chinese and Japanese.

Clicking the Advanced button will display the Advanced Settings pop-up window, where proxy-settings can be specified. These settings are only needed for the online installer, if applicable for that installation environment. They can simply be ignored as part of offline installation.

With the EULA read, continue with the install by checking the I accept the agreement box and clicking the Next button.

Installation Mode

If you have an existing installation of Altium Designer, and that installation can be updated to the new version you are trying to install now, then this additional page of the Altium Designer Installer wizard will be available.


Install a new instance of Altium Designer, or update an existing instance.

This page gives you the choice between:

  • Installing a separate new instance of Altium Designer – use this option the first time you install Altium Designer with the Offline Installer.
  • Updating an existing installation of Altium Designer – use this option when you are updating your offline installation of Altium Designer. If you are updating an existing installation, you can select the product instance being updated.

Select the required installation mode, and click Next to continue.

Select Design Functionality

This next page of the Installer allows you to specify which features are installed initially. The PCB Design option provides the base software and core technologies required to perform PCB design. It is always installed and cannot be deselected. Use the remaining options to tailor the install to suit your needs.

Click to expand an area for greater control over sub-functionality available.


Enable the initial functionality you would like in your installation of Altium Designer, this can be changed later if required.

Platform Extensions offer extended functionality to the core platform. Each platform extension is a dedicated package of core platform functionality that has been ‘brought out’ of the platform and delivered in the guise of an extension. By delivering this functionality as an extension, Altium can deliver updates to that core functionality without having to release an update to the entire platform itself.

Simply click to enable the functionality you require. As you select and deselect functionality, text at the bottom of the page dynamically updates to reflect the space required for installation. Note that the figure given for the amount of downloaded data does not apply to the Offline Installer.

Click to enable functionality at the parent level, to quickly enable all of its child functionality too.

Remember, no matter what decision you take at initial install, you can add or remove features and functionality at any stage after installation. This puts you in the driving seat as it were, to fully customize your installation in-line with your, possibly ever-changing, design needs.

After defining what functionality you’d like, click Next to proceed.

Destination Folders

This next page of the Installer allows you to specify the destination folders for the install, in terms of both the Program Files for the software and the Shared Documents that are accessed and used by the software.


Specify where the software and associated documents are to be installed.

These locations become especially important when installing multiple instances of Altium Designer. If one or both of these destinations is not currently an empty folder (i.e. devoid of content) you will be prevented from proceeding with the installation until you specify alternate (and empty) destination(s).

The default destinations (Windows 7 and above) are:

Program Files

C:\Program Files (x86)\Altium\AD17

Shared Documents

C:\Users\Public\Documents\Altium\AD17

To specify alternate locations, simply type the location directly into the applicable field, or click the folder icon at the right of a field and browse for the required destination folder.

Once the install locations are specified, click Next to continue.

Ready To Install

The Installer now has all the information it requires to proceed with the installation. If you need to change anything, click the Back button. If you want to cancel out of the install, click Cancel.


Ready to begin the install!

To go ahead and proceed with the installation, click Next.

Installing Altium Designer

The page will change from Ready to Install to Installing Altium Designer and the installation will proceed, with the required files first being prepared (from the set of files contained within the unzipped Offline Installation package). Progress of this preparation is displayed within the Installer itself.


Installation commences by preparing the required set of install files.

Once the preparation of files is complete, they will be installed, again with progress displayed in the Installer.


After the file preparation is complete, the software is then installed.

Installation Complete

When the installation itself completes, you have reached the end of the Installer wizard.


That’s it, installation is complete!

An option is provided to launch Altium Designer when you exit the Installer, enabled by default. Simply click Finish to exit the wizard.

That’s it. You have installed Altium Designer on your computer, and initially tailored its functionality to suit your design needs. You can now import any preferences from an earlier build, and then license the software to work in an offline, standalone fashion.

Importing Preferences from a Previous Version or Major Release

After installing and launching your new version of Altium Designer, the Import Settings dialog will appear, from where you are given the opportunity to import preferences from the most recent previous installation at startup.


Import settings from your previous version’s installation.

Not only will the preferences be imported, but the user settings will be copied across too – ensuring the new version opens with the same look and feel created in the previous version, even down to the last opened workspace and panel positioning!

If the option to import preferences on initial startup is not taken, don’t worry – preferences can be quickly imported, at any time, from within the Preferences dialog . Simply click the  button, at the bottom of the dialog. The associated menu will list all previous versions/releases currently installed on the computer, and that can be imported from.

Preferences can be imported from any individually installed version instance of Altium Designer (installed builds of AD10 or later), or any of the following pre-AD10 major releases of the software: Summer 09, Winter 09, Summer 08, and Altium Designer 6.
The benefit of importing at initial startup is getting the working environment looking exactly the way it was set up in the previous installation. Importing preferences at a later stage will only ‘restore’ a subset of this environment.

Altium Product Improvement Program

Also as part of the initial launch of your newly installed version of Altium Designer, you will be asked if you would like to participate in Altium’s Product Improvement Program. Since this requires connection with Altium, it is not required for an offline installation, and so you can simply choose the No, I don’t want to participate in the program option, in the Altium Product Improvement Program dialog that appears, and click OK.

Licensing the Software

When Altium Designer starts, it will display the License Management page of the Admin area, as shown in the image below.


The License Management page – command central for getting Altium Designer licensed.

There are now two actions to perform in order to setup the software to work effectively offline:

  1. Configure Altium Designer to operate in an offline mode, so that it will not attempt to contact Altium to validate licensing.
  2. Add a standalone license file, required to unlock Altium Designer’s functionality.

Switching to Offline Mode

To switch Altium Designer to an offline mode, essentially severing the connection to Altium:

  1. Click on the Account preferences link. This gives access to the System – Account Management page of the Preferences dialog .
  2. Enable the No, I wish to remain disconnected from Altium option. By enabling this option, your installation of Altium Designer will stay completely disconnected from Altium. While disconnected, you will not be able to access or use any of the on-demand services that require a connection with Altium. In essence, this option is a ‘full offline’ switch.
  3. Click OK to accept the change and close the Preferences dialog.


Sever the connection with Altium’s online services, to place your installation in a fully Offline mode.

In addition, confirmation that you are using an offline installation of the software can be seen on the System – Installation page of the Preferences dialog. The Offline installation option will be enabled, with the path to the unzipped offline installation package folder.


Additional confirmation that you are using an offline installation.

Note that the offline installation does not check for updates or new extensions, regardless of the status of the Altium Connection setting. To perform an update you will need a later copy of the Offline Installation package.

Adding the License File

First, you need to procure the required Standalone license file. This can be downloaded by signing in to the AltiumLive community area of the Altium website, opening the Dashboard (clicking the Dashboard link at the top of the page) and going to the Licenses section. When you click on a license to examine the details there is an Activate button, click this to download the licensing file (*.alf) for that license.

To learn more about licensing visit Altium Dashboard – Managing Licenses .

With the Standalone license file acquired, you can now proceed to use that file to license your offline instance of Altium Designer. To do so:

  1. On the License Management page (within Altium Designer), click the Add standalone license file link.
  2. The Open dialog will appear, browse to and select the license file you just acquired.


Add the Standalone license file to complete the process.

Once you have selected the license file and returned to Altium Designer, the License Management page will display the license details, as shown below.


The details for the added Standalone license are displayed.

An offline installation can also be licensed using a Private License Server, to learn more visit Private Server Licensing .

 

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