Software and Hardware Resources

Software and hardware can often be obtained at discounted rates through University license agreements. Before purchasing software, check with your local computing support or search the OIT Software Catalog.


  • Software Catalog
    Software available through campus agreements
  • SHI International Corp
    UCI’s reseller for Adobe, Microsoft, Filemaker and Symantec software. Most agreements require departmental or coordinated group purchases.


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Software FAQ

Where do I start when I want to get the software from my University-owned computer?

UC Irvine Contacts

Campus contacts are listed in software pages where applicable and are “first points of contact” — they may either have technical information handy or know where to get answers. In many cases the Campus Contact is simply and email to this address can get you more details on a particular package, or begin the ordering and distribution process.

University of California System-Wide Contacts

  • University of California Office of the President. (UCOP) Strategic Sourcing web site
    This office is central to the UC system and facilitates many business and academic contracts for the University at large.
  • Technical Acquisition Support. (UC-TAS)
    A group consisting of at least one representative from each UC campus and laboratory as well as representatives from UCOP whose primary goal is to consider, discuss and execute hardware and software license agreements beneficial to the UC system.

What should I do when I need a product I cannot find?

  1. Contact your Computing Support Coordinator
    Each department has its own software standards and sometimes even its own software licenses.
  2. Contact OIT (
    Identifying the software packages which are of interest to faculty and staff drives the process of negotiating and securing new discount software licenses for UCI.

What do the licensing terms mean?

All Licenses are exclusive to the University of California, Irvine

Competitive Upgrade
Some companies allow/encourage purchasing their product at a reduced price if you are switching from specific competitors' software. Microsoft is one company that uses this term.
Con currency
Exact definition may vary according to the vendor. In general, it refers to the number of users accessing a computer at one time. Concurrency clauses can be found in software volume license agreements as well as maintenance agreements.
Discount Pricing
Discount Pricing: Lower-than-list prices unilaterally offered by a software manufacturer or vendor, without negotiation or formal contract. Education pricing, multi-license breaks, limited-time or introductory offers and breaks based on a commitment to purchase a given number of licenses over time are all forms of discount pricing. If the product has a large enough user base or is considered strategic, the University may formalize such offers as a volume purchase agreement. Without an agreement, offers can be withdrawn or changed without notice.
Floating License
A license where many machines may have the software installed, but only a specific number of machines may run it at a time. All machines that may run the software must have network access. When the user starts the program, the program checks with a central monitoring system to see if there is an “open” license. If all the licenses are in use, the program stops and returns the information to the user.
A written license, acquired at the time of purchase, authorizing you to legally use a particular piece of software — all software requires a license for legal use. Software agreement licenses are located in the box when you purchase software at your local computer store. Or, they may also be covered under a Software Volume License Agreement or SVLA (see below for definition). When you acquire through the proper procedures, the SVLA allows you the legal use of specific software. In some cases, a serial number is included, enabling you to take advantage of a vendor’s technical support; in other cases, a designated, Campus contact routes questions to technical support.
Recurring annual fees, which may or may not be mandatory for continued use of the software. Maintenance usually includes technical support and updates. For programs that are not paid-up at the initial purchase, maintenance is the annual fee to keep the program running.
Multi packs
Many software companies offer software in *multipacks*. Usually included is one set of media, one set of manuals and a license agreement for a specific number of users — 10 or 50 or 100.
Node-locked License
A license where only so many specific machines may have the software installed.  Usually requires registration of CPU serial numbers.
"Paid Up"
Software that is paid for on a one-time basis, giving the user the right to run the program as long as he/she chooses. It does not imply a right to updates, which are typically sold separately as part of a maintenance agreement, or on a per-update basis. Some software is more “leased” than sold, in that there is an annual fee to continue using the software. If these cases, if the fee is not paid, the software quits working.
Shared Purchases
A type of software multi-license purchase, by a group of campus departments, coordinated by the Office of Information Technology and distributed via the OIT Archives.
Site License
Usually applied to a licensing agreement that allows the software to be run on an unlimited number of CPUs. The number of users per CPU is not limited by the license where multi-user capability exists. Some agreements have CPU limits so high as to be considered site licenses. Site licenses are relatively rare.
SVLA – Software Volume License Agreement
A term used to describe all types of software license agreements, monitored by the UCOP.
Volume Purchase Agreement
A formal agreement between the University and a software manufacturer or vendor. A source, order process and usually pricing limits are negotiated and put in a contract with a specific term and renewal conditions. Volume purchase agreements are rarely mandatory (i.e., end users can buy elsewhere), but generally have very advantageous pricing.

Buying Microsoft - General Advice

For University-owned computers, one should start by checking with your local help desk for advice. Most schools and departments participate in an agreement known as UC-MCCA in which Windows and Office are leased on an annual basis.  If your department participates, you are already licensed for Windows and Office. Your local help desk can also advise you with regard to perpetual licensing for Microsoft products, and the purchase and installation of low-cost volume licensed software.

Faculty & staff who desire an in-depth overview of software licensing at UCI should contact OIT for a consultation.

Again, check with your local help desk for advice. Avoid installing volume-licensed software on personal property.  The Hill (UCI Computer Store) has editions of Office for personally owned systems, including Office 365 University, for which all UCI students, staff, and faculty are eligible to purchase. Office can also be purchased from the Microsoft Store online.

Students – Get Microsoft Office for free! (also for MCCA-enrolled staff & faculty)

Microsoft has begun providing Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus to UC Irvine students at no cost thanks to a staff campus agreement program (MCCA). Faculty and staff whose departments are enrolled in MCCA are also eligible. Visit Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus – Personal Use.

Secure FTP Advice

File transfers should be performed via secure protocols. Most campus hosts have removed plaintext FTP servers.

Windows Clients


WinSCP is a freeware SFTP and SCP client for Windows.

SSH Tectia Client

A&BS departments should use OIT’s Desktop Service’s recommended SFTP client, currently SSH Tectia. Free for academic use, this client is manufactured by SSH Communications.

Macintosh Clients


Linux Clients

sftp is bundled with most Linux distributions.

Buying TechSmith Software - General Advice

TechSmith Corporation makes three products for screen capture:

  • Snagit -Screen capture – Communicate with images and quick videos using Snagit’s dynamic screen capture and editing tools.
  • Camtasia -Screen recording and video editing – Create professional-quality videos with Camtasia’s powerful screen recording and video editing tools.
  • Relay – Organization-wide video creation and hosting – Roll out interactive videos across your organization with Relay’s video creation and hosting system.

Of the three, UCI only has a license for Relay, locally branded as UCI Replay. If you need to purchase Snagit or Camtasia, contact TechSmith directly, or the UC systemwide software reseller, SHI.

Microsoft Volume Licensing

Microsoft Volume License Product Activation

Summary: Tips on activating Microsoft volume licenses for Windows and Office. This applies to all versions after Windows XP and Office 2007.

Proper network DNS configuration is needed for Microsoft volume-licensed software to activate

Recent Microsoft volume-licensed products for Windows activate automatically via an on-campus activation server.

Note: Office 365 Software activates online with Microsoft.

Applicable titles:

  • Windows and Windows Servers
  • Office for Windows and Office family products like Visio and Project

You do not have to type a 25-character product key.

Computers activate by “talking” to an on-campus activation server at least every 180 days.  The activation server is automatically located via the campus DNS. Activation is transparent and low-bandwidth.  OIT has been running an activation server (KMS server) since Windows Vista was released. There have been very few problems, and to the best of our knowledge, all have been solved.

This activation service is for volume licenses and media only obtained via SHI or  the UCI Computerstore for use on university systems.

Current Windows operating systems require that the proper DNS suffix for UCI.EDU be configured in the network settings. If these settings are not properly configured you will receive the following error:

If your computer cannot activate within 30 days of initial product use, you will experience a loss of service. After the initial activation, your computer must check in with the activation server at least once every 180 days.

How do I set my DNS suffix settings?

  1. Click on the start menu and type Network and Sharing Center in the search box, then click Enter.
  2. Click on Change adapter settings located on the left column header
  3. Choose your network adapter, right click and choose properties
  4. Highlight Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4) and click on properties and then click on the Advanced button.
  5. Click on the DNS tab and click on Append these DNS suffixes (in order). Click on Add and then type
  6. To finish click Add, then Ok, Ok

What if I am on a domain?

Contact your network administrator to add to the following group policy:

Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Network > DNS Client > DNS Suffix Search List

Once the DNS search string is configured properly, activation will occur automatically without user intervention. Off-campus laptops will activate seamlessly if they are used on campus at least every 180 days, or are connected to the campus VPN at least once every 180 days.

Microsoft Volume Licensing and Key Management Service

Volume License Activation

Microsoft has changed the way volume license product activation occurs in

  • Windows 10 & newer (Windows 11 starting in 2022)
  • Windows Server 2012 r2 and newer
  • Office (for Windows, not macOS) 2016 and newer, and Office family products like Visio and Project.

You do not have to type a 25-character product key.

Computers activate by “talking” to an on-campus activation server at least every 180 days.  The activation server is automatically located via the campus DNS. Activation is transparent and low-bandwidth.  OIT has been running an activation server (KMS server) since Windows Vista was released. There have been very few problems, and to the best of our knowledge, all have been solved.

This activation service is for volume licenses and media only obtained via SHI or the UCI Computerstore for use on university systems.

Use of the activation server protects you, the University, and Microsoft from software piracy. The activation server works transparently and automatically on all systems using the campus DNS.  If you support your own DNS server, see below…

The on-campus activation server provides a much higher degree of safety.

How can I verify that my software is activated?

  • Windows: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > System. Scroll to the bottom to view the Windows activation status.
  • Office 2016/2019/365: In an Office application such as Microsoft Word, from the File menu, choose Office Account, and then view the status at the top right.

Number 1 problem with activation

Be sure is in your list of domain search strings! Your local computer help desk can assist with this. This is necessary due to a network incompatibility introduced with Windows 7 SP1 and later.

Also be certain that the system time and date are correct.

Special cases

My unit is using its own DNS server

If you are running your own DNS for your domain, the record you want  to register is:        IN  SRV     0 0 1688

I’m having difficulties after installing Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1

OIT has verified that the Service Pack changes the way DNS works and that the server may no longer be “found” automatically. We have opened up a support case with Microsoft. Until the issue is resolved, the problem can usually be resolved by adding as a DNS search suffix in TCP/IP properties.

The automatic DNS resolution doesn’t seem to be working. Are there command-line instructions?


NOTE: Do NOT include the quotation marks when typing the following commands.

  1. Connect to the VPN.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt window by clicking on Start, type “cmd” (without the "" marks), right click on “Command prompt”, and then select “Run as administrator”.
  3. Type "slmgr.vbs /rearm"
    • This is needed to reset a system that has gone past the 30-day grace period, or has had an incorrect key entered. This is not needed on a newly upgraded system.
    • NOTE: This will ask to restart the laptop – go ahead, then repeat steps #1 and #2, and proceed to step #4
  4. Type “slmgr.vbs /skms”
    • This will configure the activation service.
  5. Type “slmgr.vbs /ato”
    • This performs the activation, so you'll be good for 180 days. NOTE: We suggest you do this at least every 180 days.
  6. Type “slmgr.vbs /dli”
    • This will display the current license information.

"Office 2019 Deployment Tools" for Office 2019, Visio 2019, and Project 2019

CSCs who have downloaded the "Office 2019 Deployment Tools" exe file from our Microsoft SharePoint site should use the Office Customization Tool to quickly & easily create xml files that can be used to download and deploy Office 2019, Project 2019, and Visio 2019 on workstations. This is the preferred method, rather than attempting to manually edit and configure the default xml files that come with the Deployment Tools executable.

Access to the SharePoint site is restricted to CSCs. Please email the Help Desk and our Software Licensing Support team will grant you access.

Someone is taking UCI equipment off-campus

As long as they connect to UCInet at least once every 180 days, there will be no problem.

What about personally-owned computers? (Microsoft Office only)

MCCA enrollees only- (check with your IT support desk or business office to see if you are enrolled)

  1. Install Office via Office 365. Log into your account via a web browser to get started.
  2. Microsoft has made available “Home Use” licenses for personal use on an MCCA enrollee’s PC. These licenses will include downloadable media only, for $9.95. This is an MCCA Software Assurance benefit. Check with your IT support desk or business office to see if you are enrolled.

Installing over pre-loaded Office Starter with licensed versions – KMS or otherwise

If your computer comes pre-loaded with Office and you want to install any edition of Office without re-imaging, it is recommended that you uninstall Office. before installing your new, complete version of Office.