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What is AboutCode?

AboutCode is a suite of tools to uncover data ... about software:

  • Where does it come from?
  • What is its license?
  • Is it secure, maintained, well coded?

These are important questions when there are millions of free and open source software components and packages available on the web.

Documentation Build Status

Doc Build

Important Links

Our homepage is at

Our documentation (in progress) is at

AboutCode Documentation Group Email Addresses:

If you want to get in touch with the team with issues other than documentation, head to the gitter channel here.

Look at our wiki for information about our participation in the GSoC and GSoD programs.

We have a weekly meeting, see more details here.


Each AboutCode project has its own repository:

  • ScanCode Toolkit: a set of code scanning tools to detect the origin and license of code and dependencies. ScanCode now uses a plug-in architecture to run a series of scan-related tools in one process flow. This is the most popular project and is used by 100's of software teams . The lead maintainer is @pombredanne

  • a web-based and API to run and review scans in rich scripted ScanPipe pipelines.

  • VulnerableCode: an emerging server-side application to collect and track known package vulnerabilities.

  • Scancode Workbench: a desktop application (based on Electron) to review the results of a scan and document your conclusions about the origin and license of software components and packages.

  • AboutCode Toolkit: a set of command line tools to document the provenance of your code and generate attribution notices. AboutCode Toolkit uses small yaml files to document code provenance inside a codebase. The lead maintainer is @chinyeungli

  • TraceCode Toolkit: a set of tools to trace files from your deployment or distribution packages back to their origin in a development codebase or repository. The primary tool uses strace to trace system calls on Linux and construct a build graph from syscalls to show which files are used to build a binary. We are contributors to strace. Maintained by @pombredanne

  • container-inspector: a tool to analyze the structure and provenance of software components in Docker images using static analysis. Maintained by @pombredanne

  • license-expression: a library to parse, analyze, compare and normalize SPDX and SPDX-like license expressions using a boolean logic expression engine. See to understand what an expression is. See for the code. The underlying boolean engine is live at . Both are co-maintained by @pombredanne

  • ABCD aka AboutCode Data: a simple set of conventions to define data structures that all the AboutCode tools can understand and use to exchange data. The details are at AboutCode Data. ABOUT files and ScanCode Toolkit data are examples of this approach. Other projects such as and and OSS Review Toolkit are also using these conventions.

  • DeltaCode: a command line tool to compare scans and determine if and where there are material differences that affect licensing.

We also co-started and worked closely with other FOSS orgs and projects:

  • Package URL: an emerging standard to reference software packages of all types with simple, readable and concise URLs.

  • SPDX: aka. Software Package Data Exchange, a spec to document the origin and licensing of packages.

  • ClearlyDefined: a project to review and help FOSS projects improve their licensing and documentation clarity. This project is incubating with


AboutCode project: tools and data to uncover things about code: the provenance, origin, license, and more (packages, security, quality, etc.) of FOSS code






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