Licensing types

Licensing = provisioning = activation

  • Named user licensing (NUL): (Recommended) NUL supports enterprise and federated IDs as well as the ability to manage usage rights via the Admin Console. The Console also provides admins with tools for managing software, users, and devices.

  • Serialized-license key: License the product with a physical key.

  • Feature restricted licensing (FRL): The December, 2018 release introduced FRL for the Continuous track. FRL provides an alternative to serialized (license key) and named user deployment. Create and manage FRL via the Admin Console.

For another overview, see this blog.

ID types

If you’re using NUL and are unfamiliar with the various types of IDs, please refer to:

Tracks: Continuous vs. Classic

The Acrobat product family provides two tracks for both Acrobat and Reader. These are essentially different products:

  • The Continuous track (Recommended) provides service-based tools as well as new features, security and platform enhancements, and bug fixes as part of frequent (and most often) silent updates. Over time, the Continuous track’s update cadence will be more frequent than the Classic track. Classic license program customers do not have access to this track for Acrobat.

  • The Classic track is similar to the 11.x model and provides few (if any) new features in updates. Free services are available, but optional. Like previous releases, a quarterly update cadence delivers security and platform enhancements as well as bug fixes.


For up-to-date details about what features exist in each track, see

Identifying download authenticity

After mounting your dmg download, you can verify its signature using the codesign tool:

$ codesign -vvv /Volumes/Adobe\ Reader\ Installer/Install\ Adobe\

To check a pkg which has been extracted from a dmg:

$ pkgutil --check-signature AdbeRdrUpd(version).pkg

Standalone products vs. CC bundles

Installation workflows vary depending on whether you are installing Acrobat as a standalone application or as part of a Create Cloud (CC) bundle. Standalone Acrobat deployments use a standard installer and should adhere to the instructions in this document.

Acrobat bundled and standalone products support the Creative Cloud Package (formerly AAMEE) for the customization and packaging of Creative Cloud applications. Admins can therefore use the Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) command line tool. This tool is provided as part of the CCP download. It is particularly useful for configuring installs as well as the serialization of Adobe products. Download the tools and documentation from