GIS Support: Arc doesn't start. Error: Cannot find SERVER hostname in network database OR The lookup for the hostname .. failed


On a local installation of ESRI's ArcGIS desktop, this error appears on startup and ArcMap will not load.


‘Provide your license server administrator with the following information:

Cannot find SERVER hostname in network database

The lookup for the hostname on the SERVER line in the license file failed. This often happens when NIS or DNS or the hosts file is incorrect.  FLEXlm error: -14,7. System Error: 11001 “WinSock: Host not found (HOST_NOT_FOUND)” ‘


We do like to encourage IDFG folks to use Citrix. Consider using Citrix for your ArcGIS useIf you don't see the option to use ArcGIS, send us a support ticket and we'll get you on the user's list.



The problem is that your copy of ArcGIS desktop isn't looking at a valid licensing server. 

To fix it, follow these steps:

  1. Open "ArcGIS Administrator." It's in Start --> Programs --> ArcGIS 

Depending on your version of ArcGIS, the administrator dialog will look different. But what you'll want to do is "change" the server. The basic IDFG ArcGIS License Server for ArcView is "IFWISARC"

  1. "Change" the server to IFWISARC and click OK. You should be off and running.


Thank you, Brian for bringing this to our attention.