Activate MATLAB without a network card

I recently had a problem when I was trying to activate MATLAB on my laptop.. The problem was that matlab requires a network card eth0 or eth1 with a mac address that it ties the license to.

The way that I solved this problem when I was installing matlab was to plug in an USB to Ethernet adapter and tied the license to that mac address.. The problem came when I was traveling with my laptop and didn’t have that adapter and tried to run matlab.. matlab gave me an error that it couldn’t find the device with the matching mac address. [ It also provided me with the mac address that it was looking for ]

-> The solution? A virtual eth0

Step 1:

This can work to install matlab if you haven’t already, if that is the case you will not need to do step two. So open a terminal [crtl+alt+t] and type the following command

$ sudo ip tuntap add dev eth0 mode tap

After this you should be able to see eth0 listed when you run the next command

$ sudo ip link ls

eth0: < BROADCAST,MULTICAST > mtu 1500 qdisc noop state DOWN mode DEFAULT qlen 500
link/ether 9a:3b:e2:11:cc:12 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

The mac address is one that it randomly generates, If you have already activated matlab with a USB adapter then you will have to do step 2.

Step 2:

This step is required to change the mac address of the virtual eth0. When you try to run matlab it will give you an error saying that the mac address does not match the one in the license file and it will give you the mac address the it is looking for.. The simple solution is to make the mac address match.. To do so just run the following command with the mac address that was provided to you.

 $ sudo ip link set dev eth0 address 9a:3b:e2:11:cc:12

You can verify that the mac address changed by running the last command is step 1.

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