Last week I applied for the Free Flex Builder 3 For Unemployed Developers so that I could build Flex applications on my new Mac Book Pro, and in two short days I received an email with my new Professional edition license key.

I had been using the trial version of Flex Builder 3, which had been installed from my Mac administrative account. Upon entering the new serial number I was greeted with a contradictory message in the Flex Builder 3 Activation dialog:

Current License: Professional Edition - Educational
Serial Number is Invalid

Flex Builder determined that it was a Professional Edition license key, but then indicated that the number was invalid, complete with a green check mark indicating it was valid. That doesn't make any sense at all.

I suspected that problem was somehow with permissions so I did a bit of Googling to find this recent post on the official Adobe Flex Team Blog which indicated at least that the Flex Builder license should be stored at:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex/

However, when I examined my file system I discovered that the Adobe directory did not contain a Flex subdirectory, and therefore no file.

To test permissions, I then launched Flex Builder with the sudo command to permit Flex Builder to run with root privileges. My assumption was that when I ran Flex Builder with my regular administrative account it was not able to write the license file to disk, and starting FB with sudo should allow it to do so. You can see that when run as sudo, Flex Builder wrote the license file to disk with the user and group of root / admin.

view plain print about
1sudo /Applications/Adobe Flex Builder 3/Flex
2ls -l /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex
3-rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 114 Apr 8 17:06

I was pleased to find out that this was in fact the problem, and Flex Builder now accepted my license and indicated that it was Professional Edition and valid.