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AboutCode Toolkit provides a simple way to document provenance metadata (origin and license) about third-party code that you use in your project: it includes utilities to generate inventory/BOM or Attribution documentation.
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AboutCode Toolkit


The AboutCode Toolkit and ABOUT files provide a simple way to document the origin, license, usage and other important or interesting information about third-party software components that you use in your project.

You start by storing ABOUT files (a small YAML formatted text file with field/value pairs) side-by-side with each of the third-party software components you use. Each ABOUT file documents origin and license for one software. There are many examples of ABOUT files (valid or invalid) in the testdata/ directory of the whole repository.

The current version of the AboutCode Toolkit can read these ABOUT files so that you can collect and validate the inventory of third-party components that you use.

In addition, this tool is able to generate attribution notices and identify redistributable source code used in your project to help you comply with open source licenses conditions.

This version of the AboutCode Toolkit follows the ABOUT specification version 3.1.4 at:

Build and tests status

Branch Linux/macOS Windows
Master Linux Master branch tests status Windows Master branch tests status
Develop Linux Develop branch tests status Windows Develop branch tests status


The AboutCode Toolkit is tested with Python 2.7 and 3.6 on Linux, Mac and Windows. You will need to install a Python interpreter if you do not have one already installed.

On Linux and Mac, Python is typically pre-installed. To verify which version may be pre-installed, open a terminal and type:

python --version
On Windows or Mac, you can download the latest Python here:

Download the .msi installer for Windows or the .dmg archive for Mac. Open and run the installer using all the default options.


Checkout or download and extract the AboutCode Toolkit from:
To install all the needed dependencies in a virtualenv, run (on posix):
source configure
or on windows:


Starting at AboutCode version 4.0.0, the AboutCode Toolkit will follow SemVer for the versioning schema.

  1. MAJOR version when making incompatible API changes,
  2. MINOR version when making functionality in a backwards compatible manner, and
  3. PATCH version when making backwards compatible bug fixes.


See for reference on aboutcode-toolkit usage.


To install all the needed development dependencies, run (on posix):
source configure etc/conf/dev
or on windows:
configure etc/conf/dev
To verify that everything works fine you can run the test suite with:


If you have a question or find a bug, enter a ticket at:

For issues, you can use:


The AboutCode Toolkit is available through GitHub. For the latest version visit:


We accept pull requests provided under the same license as this tool. You agree to the


The AboutCode Toolkit is released under the Apache 2.0 license. See (of course) the about.ABOUT file for details.

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