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Build Status License Python 3.8 stability-wip Gitter chat PRs Welcome


The What

VulnerableCode is a FOSS database of vulnerabilities and the FOSS packages they impact. It is made by the FOSS community to improve and secure the open source software ecosystem.

The Why

The existing solutions are commercial proprietary vulnerability databases, which in itself does not make sense because the data is about FOSS.

National Vulnerability Database which is the primary data source for all things security, is not particularly catered to address FOSS security issues, because:

  1. It predates the explosion of FOSS software usage
  2. It's data format reflects a commercial vendor-centric point of view, this is due to the usage of CPE to map vulnerabilities and the packages.
  3. CPEs are just not designed to map FOSS to vulnerabilities owing to their vendor-product centric semantics. This makes it really hard to answer the fundamental question "Is package foo vulnerable to vulnerability bar?"

The How

VulnerableCode independently aggregates many software vulnerability data sources that can easily be recreated in a decentralized fashion. These data sources include security advisories published by distros, package managers, etc. Due to this, the data obtained is not generalized to apply for other ecosystems. This increases the accuracy as the same version of a package across different distros may or may not be vulnerable to some vulnerability.

The packages are identified using PURL rather than CPEs. This makes it really easy to answer questions like "Is package foo vulnerable to vulnerability bar ? ".

The web interface enables community curation of data by enabling the addition of new packages, vulnerabilities, and modifying the relationships between them as shown in GIF. Along with the web interface the API allows seamless consumption of the data.

We also plan to mine for vulnerabilities which didn't receive any exposure due to various reasons like but not limited to the complicated procedure to receive CVE ID or not able to classify a bug as a security compromise.

Check VulnerableCode at Open Source Summit 2020

Setting up VulnerableCode

Clone the source code:

git clone
cd vulnerablecode

Using Docker Compose

An easy way to set up VulnerableCode is with docker containers and docker compose. For this you need to have the following installed. - Docker Engine. Find instructions to install it here - Docker Compose. Find instructions to install it here

Use sudo docker-compose up to start VulnerableCode. Access VulnerableCode at http://localhost:8000/ or at .

Use sudo docker-compose exec web bash to access the VulnerableCode container. From here you can access and run management commands to import data as specified below.

Without Docker Compose

System requirements

  • Python 3.8+
  • PostgreSQL 9+
  • Compiler toolchain and development files for Python and PostgreSQL

On Debian-based distros, these can be installed with sudo apt install python3-venv python3-dev postgresql libpq-dev build-essential.

Database configuration - Create a user named vulnerablecode. Use vulnerablecode as password when prompted: sudo -u postgres createuser --no-createrole --no-superuser --login --inherit --createdb --pwprompt vulnerablecode

  • Create a databased named vulnerablecode: createdb --encoding=utf-8 --owner=vulnerablecode --user=vulnerablecode --password --host=localhost --port=5432 vulnerablecode

Application dependencies

Create a virtualenv, install dependencies, and run the database migrations:

python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
DJANGO_DEV=1 python migrate

The environment variable DJANGO_DEV is used to load settings suitable for development, defined in vulnerablecode/ If you don't want to type it every time use export DJANGO_DEV=1 instead.

When not running in development mode, an environment variable named SECRET_KEY needs to be set. The recommended way to generate this key is to use the code Django includes for this purpose: SECRET_KEY=$(python -c "from import utils; print(utils.get_random_secret_key())").


pycodestyle --exclude=migrations,,venv,,,, --max-line-length=100 .
DJANGO_DEV=1 pytest

Data import

DJANGO_DEV=1 python import --all

If you want to run the import periodically, you can use a systemd timer:

$ cat ~/.config/systemd/user/vulnerablecode.service

Description=Update vulnerability database

ExecStart=/path/to/venv/bin/python /path/to/vulnerablecode/ import --all

$ cat ~/.config/systemd/user/vulnerablecode.timer

Description=Periodically update vulnerability database



Start it with

systemctl --user daemon-reload && systemctl --user start vulnerablecode.timer


Start the webserver

DJANGO_DEV=1 python runserver

In your browser access:

For full documentation about API endpoints.


A free and open vulnerabilities database and the packages they impact. And the tools to aggregate and correlate these vulnerabilities.




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