Quick Start Guide for FineReader Engine 12 for Linux

Installation process

1. To install the FineReader Engine 12 for Linux, run the self-extracting archive file %archive_name%.sh from the command line:



  • You can run the archive file without any parameters. The installation will run in an interactive mode and you will be prompted to enter the necessary information during the installation. You can as well run the archive file with certain options. For more details, please refer to the User Guide of the product. The information is contained in the chapter 'Distribution'.
  • The installation of the licensing service and the license activation requires ROOT rights.
  • We recommend to run the installation of the FineReader Engine under the ROOT user.
  • To change the current user to the ROOT, use the command 'su root' (if you have a password of the ROOT) or the command 'sudo su' (the password of the current user is required).

2. In the next step, read and accept the End User License Agreement (EULA):


3) Continue the installation by entering 'y'


4) Specify the installation folder for the FineReader Engine 12:

  • If you want to use the default folder, which is /opt/ABBYY/FREngine12, enter 'y'
  • If you want to use a different folder, enter 'n' and specify your own directory.

In this guide, we are using the default directory.

5) Specify the installation type:
6) Specify the activation type:
If you are using the Standalone - the Licensing Service is located on the same machine - License (using either the Software license key or the Online license key), select the Local server. (The Remote server is used only for a network license - the Licensing Service is located on another machine).
7) Set license parameters:
a) Enter the Project ID:

b) If you are installing the Software license, then enter 'n':


c) If you are installing the Online license, enter 'y' and set the required parameters (password and path to the activation file):


8) Choose the option for the licensing service to install:
The option 2) may be useful, if the Licensing Service was already installed on the machine before and you do not need to install it again, just want to run it.

Activation step

You might be using either the Software License Key (requires activation) or the Online License Key (no activation necessary).

A) Software License Key

When you use the Software License Key, please conduct following steps:

1) Right after the FineReader Engine 12 installation you will be asked to activate the license

a) Enter your serial number:
b) Select the connection method for the license activation:
If you have an Internet connection, we recommend to choose the ‘Internet’ method. In this case the activation is carried out automatically and takes only a few seconds.

If you chose the 'by e-mail' activation method, you will need to load the activation file by specifying the path to the activation file received from ABBYY.
Activation information is sent as a code (Installation ID) that was generated using the information about the computer hardware. No personal information about the user or the computer itself is used and it is not possible to identify the user by using this code.

B) Online License Key

When you use the Online License Key, you do not need to activate your license.

This license mechanism leverages an online-based ABBYY License Service utility that ensures uninterrupted operation of ABBYY FineReader Engine 12 within distributed environments, such as cloud computing as well as usage within virtual environments, including Docker containers. It can be as well used for on-premises installation. 

For the License Service to interact with ABBYY's services, a permanent internet connection is needed (short interruptions are tolerated).

The parameters of the Online license can be reviewed through the LicenseManager.Console.
Important: Verify that you allow connections to *.abbyy.com on port 443.

How to use the Online License Key

License Manager Utility

It is possible to manage the licenses through an interactive console interface as well as via the command line.

To enter the interactive mode, run activatefre.sh without any parameters and select the option 'Manage licenses':


Alternatively, run the LicenseManager.Console without any parameters:


In both cases, you will see the console interface for the License Manager utility and can manage the licenses or review the license parameters:


Usage of Code Samples for Application Development

The ABBYY FineReader Engine 12 for Linux distribution pack contains a set of sample source codes showing how to use the FineReader Engine in common scenarios and illustrating different FineReader Engine technologies. The detailed description of the samples can be found in the Code Samples Library provided with the distribution pack.


Running Code Samples

All code samples can be found in the Samples folder of the FineReader Engine installation folder. The samples are provided for C++ and/or JAVA:


Before you can run the C++ samples, you need to:

1) Set the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH to the full path to Bin folder of the distribution pack, e.g. 'export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/ABBYY/FREngine12/Bin'
2) Build the sample, e.g. 'make':
3) Run the built sample:

The build instructions for the JAVA samples you will find in the ReadMe.txt file of the particular code sample.

Basic Usage Scenarios for the SDK

Before you start the development of your application, please read the Basic Usage Scenarios Implementation chapter in the User Guide of the product, which is located in /opt/ABBYY/FREngine12/Help folder. It describes the most common usage scenarios for ABBYY FineReader Engine. Each article contains a detailed description of the scenario, implementation advice, and suggestions on optimizing the code for specific tasks.


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