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The OSS Review Toolkit (ORT) is a FOSS policy automation and orchestration toolkit that you can use to manage your (open source) software dependencies in a strategic, safe and efficient manner.

You can use it to:

  • Generate CycloneDX, SPDX SBOMs, or custom FOSS attribution documentation for your software project
  • Automate your FOSS policy using risk-based Policy as Code to do licensing, security vulnerability, InnerSource and engineering standards checks for your software project and its dependencies
  • Create a source code archive for your software project and its dependencies to comply with certain licenses or have your own copy as nothing on the internet is forever
  • Correct package metadata or licensing findings yourself, using InnerSource or with the help of the FOSS community

ORT can be used as a library (for programmatic use), via a command line interface (for scripted use), or via its CI integrations. It consists of the following tools which can be combined into a highly customizable pipeline:

  • Analyzer: Determines the dependencies of projects and their metadata, abstracting which package managers or build systems are actually being used.
  • Downloader: Fetches all source code of the projects and their dependencies, abstracting which Version Control System (VCS) or other means are used to retrieve the source code.
  • Scanner: Uses configured source code scanners to detect license / copyright findings, abstracting the type of scanner.
  • Advisor: Retrieves security advisories for used dependencies from configured vulnerability data services.
  • Evaluator: Evaluates custom policy rules along with custom license classifications against the data gathered in preceding stages and returns a list of policy violations, e.g. to flag license findings.
  • Reporter: Presents results in various formats such as visual reports, Open Source notices or Bill-Of-Materials (BOMs) to easily identify dependencies, licenses, copyrights or policy rule violations.
  • Notifier: Sends result notifications via different channels (like emails and / or JIRA tickets).

Also see the list of related tools that help with running ORT.


For detailed information, see the documentation on the ORT Website.


System requirements

ORT is being continuously used on Linux, Windows and macOS by the core development team, so these operating systems are considered to be well-supported.

To run the ORT binaries (also see Installation from binaries) at least Java 11 is required. Memory and CPU requirements vary depending on the size and type of project(s) to analyze / scan, but the general recommendation is to configure Java with 8 GiB of memory and to use a CPU with at least 4 cores.

# This will give the Java Virtual Machine 8GB Memory.
export JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -Xmx8g"

If ORT requires external tools to analyze a project, these tools are listed by the ort requirements command. If a package manager is not list listed there, support for it is integrated directly into ORT and does not require any external tools to be installed.

From binaries

Preliminary binary artifacts for ORT are currently available via JitPack. Please note that due to limitations with the JitPack build environment, the reporter is not able to create the Web App report.

From sources

Install the following basic prerequisites:

  • Git (any recent version will do).

Then clone this repository.

git clone
# If you intend to run tests, you have to clone the submodules too.
cd ort
git submodule update --init --recursive

Build using Docker

Install the following basic prerequisites:

  • Docker 18.09 or later (and ensure its daemon is running).
  • Enable BuildKit for Docker.

Change into the directory with ORT's source code and run docker build -t ort .. Alternatively, use the script at scripts/ which also sets the ORT version from the Git revision.

Build natively

Install these additional prerequisites:

  • Java Development Kit (JDK) version 11 or later; also remember to set the JAVA_HOME environment variable accordingly.

Change into the directory with ORT's source code and run ./gradlew installDist (on the first run this will bootstrap Gradle and download all required dependencies).

Basic usage

Depending on how ORT was installed, it can be run in the following ways:

  • If the Docker image was built, use

    docker run ort --help

    You can find further hints for using ORT with Docker in the documentation.

  • If the ORT distribution was built from sources, use

    ./cli/build/install/ort/bin/ort --help
  • If running directly from sources via Gradle, use

    ./gradlew cli:run --args="--help"

    Note that in this case the working directory used by ORT is that of the cli project, not the directory gradlew is located in (see gradle/gradle#6074).

Want to Help or have Questions?

All contributions are welcome. If you are interested in contributing, please read our contributing guide. To get quick answers to any of your questions, we recommend you join our Slack community.


Copyright (C) 2017-2024 The ORT Project Authors.

See the LICENSE file in the root of this project for license details.

OSS Review Toolkit (ORT) is a Linux Foundation project and part of ACT.