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Checkov is a static code analysis tool for infrastructure-as-code.

It scans cloud infrastructure provisioned using Terraform, Terraform plan, Cloudformation, Kubernetes, Dockerfile, Serverless or ARM Templates and detects security and compliance misconfigurations using graph-based scanning.

Checkov also powers Bridgecrew, the developer-first platform that codifies and streamlines cloud security throughout the development lifecycle. Bridgecrew identifies, fixes, and prevents misconfigurations in cloud resources and infrastructure-as-code files.

Table of contents


  • Over 750 built-in policies cover security and compliance best practices for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.
  • Scans Terraform, Terraform Plan, CloudFormation, Kubernetes, Dockerfile, Serverless framework and ARM template files.
  • Supports Context-awareness policies based on in-memory graph-based scanning.
  • Supports Python format for attribute policies and YAML format for both attribute and composite policies.
  • Detects AWS credentials in EC2 Userdata, Lambda environment variables and Terraform providers.
  • Evaluates Terraform Provider settings to regulate the creation, management, and updates of IaaS, PaaS or SaaS managed through Terraform.
  • Policies support evaluation of variables to their optional default value.
  • Supports in-line suppression of accepted risks or false-positives to reduce recurring scan failures. Also supports global skip from using CLI.
  • Output currently available as CLI, JSON, JUnit XML and github markdown and link to remediation guides.


Scan results in CLI


Scheduled scan result in Jenkins


Getting started


  • Python >= 3.7 (Data classes are available for Python 3.7+)
  • Terraform >= 0.12


pip3 install checkov

Installation on Alpine:

pip3 install --upgrade pip && pip3 install --upgrade setuptools
pip3 install checkov

Installation on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS:

Ubuntu 18.04 ships with Python 3.6. Install python 3.7 (from ppa repository)

sudo apt update
sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa
sudo apt install python3.7
sudo apt install python3-pip
sudo python3.7 -m pip install -U checkov #to install or upgrade checkov)

or using homebrew (MacOS only)

brew install checkov


brew upgrade checkov


if you installed checkov with pip3

pip3 install -U checkov

Configure an input folder or file

checkov --directory /user/path/to/iac/code

Or a specific file or files

checkov --file /user/tf/


checkov -f /user/cloudformation/example1.yml -f /user/cloudformation/example2.yml

Or a terraform plan file in json format

terraform init
terraform plan -out tf.plan
terraform show -json tf.plan  > tf.json 
checkov -f tf.json

Note: terraform show output file tf.json will be single line. For that reason all findings will be reported line number 0 by checkov

check: CKV_AWS_21: "Ensure all data stored in the S3 bucket have versioning enabled"
	FAILED for resource: aws_s3_bucket.customer
	File: /tf/tf.json:0-0

If you have installed jq you can convert json file into multiple lines with the following command:

terraform show -json tf.plan | jq '.' > tf.json 

Scan result would be much user friendly.

checkov -f tf.json
Check: CKV_AWS_21: "Ensure all data stored in the S3 bucket have versioning enabled"
	FAILED for resource: aws_s3_bucket.customer
	File: /tf/tf1.json:224-268

		225 |               "values": {
		226 |                 "acceleration_status": "",
		227 |                 "acl": "private",
		228 |                 "arn": "arn:aws:s3:::mybucket",

Scan result sample (CLI)

Passed Checks: 1, Failed Checks: 1, Suppressed Checks: 0
Check: "Ensure all data stored in the S3 bucket is securely encrypted at rest"
	 Passed for resource: aws_s3_bucket.template_bucket 
Check: "Ensure all data stored in the S3 bucket is securely encrypted at rest"
	 Failed for resource: aws_s3_bucket.sls_deployment_bucket_name       

Start using Checkov by reading the Getting Started page.

Using Docker

docker pull bridgecrew/checkov
docker run --tty --volume /user/tf:/tf bridgecrew/checkov --directory /tf

Note: if you are using Python 3.6(Default version in Ubuntu 18.04) checkov will not work and it will fail with ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'dataclasses' error message. In this case, you can use the docker version instead.

Note that there are certain cases where redirecting docker run --tty output to a file - for example, if you want to save the Checkov JUnit output to a file - will cause extra control characters to be printed. This can break file parsing. If you encounter this, remove the --tty flag.

Running or skipping checks

Using command line flags you can specify to run only named checks (allow list) or run all checks except those listed (deny list).

List available checks:

checkov --list 

Allow only 2 checks to run:

checkov --directory . --check CKV_AWS_20,CKV_AWS_57

Run all checks except 1 specified:

checkov -d . --skip-check CKV_AWS_52

Run all checks except checks with specified patterns:

checkov -d . --skip-check CKV_AWS*

For Kubernetes workloads, you can also use allow/deny namespaces. For example, do not report any results for the kube-system namespace:

checkov -d . --skip-check kube-system

Suppressing/Ignoring a check

Like any static-analysis tool it is limited by its analysis scope. For example, if a resource is managed manually, or using subsequent configuration management tooling, a suppression can be inserted as a simple code annotation.

Suppression comment format

To skip a check on a given Terraform definition block or CloudFormation resource, apply the following comment pattern inside it's scope:


  • <check_id> is one of the available check scanners
  • <suppression_comment> is an optional suppression reason to be included in the output


The following comment skip the CKV_AWS_20 check on the resource identified by foo-bucket, where the scan checks if an AWS S3 bucket is private. In the example, the bucket is configured with a public read access; Adding the suppress comment would skip the appropriate check instead of the check to fail.

resource "aws_s3_bucket" "foo-bucket" {
  region        = var.region
    #checkov:skip=CKV_AWS_20:The bucket is a public static content host
  bucket        = local.bucket_name
  force_destroy = true
  acl           = "public-read"

The output would now contain a SKIPPED check result entry:

Check: "S3 Bucket has an ACL defined which allows public access."
	SKIPPED for resource:
	Suppress comment: The bucket is a public static content host
	File: /

To skip multiple checks, add each as a new line.

  #checkov:skip=CKV_AWS_20:The bucket is a public static content host

To suppress checks in Kubernetes manifests, annotations are used with the following format: <check_id>=<suppression_comment>

For example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: mypod
  annotations: CKV_K8S_20=I don't care about Privilege Escalation :-O CKV_K8S_14 CKV_K8S_11=I have not set CPU limits as I want BestEffort QoS


For detailed logging to stdout setup the environment variable LOG_LEVEL to DEBUG.


Skipping directories

To skip a whole directory, use the environment variable CKV_IGNORED_DIRECTORIES. Default is CKV_IGNORED_DIRECTORIES=node_modules,.terraform,.serverless

VSCODE Extension

If you want to use checkov's within vscode, give a try to the vscode extension availble at vscode


For Terraform compliance scanners check out tfsec and Terraform AWS Secure Baseline for secured basline.

For CloudFormation scanning check out cfripper and cfn_nag.

For Kubernetes scanning check out kube-scan and Polaris.


Contribution is welcomed!

Start by reviewing the contribution guidelines. After that, take a look at a good first issue.

Looking to contribute new checks? Learn how to write a new check (AKA policy) here.


checkov does not save, publish or share with anyone any identifiable customer information.
No identifiable customer information is used to query Bridgecrew's publicly accessible guides. checkov uses Bridgecrew's API to enrich the results with links to remediation guides. To skip this API call use the flag --no-guide.


Bridgecrew builds and maintains Checkov to make policy-as-code simple and accessible.

Start with our Documentation for quick tutorials and examples.

If you need direct support you can contact us at