RustPräzi: Representing as a call-based dependency network
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Constructing call-based dependency networks of as conceptually described in

Hejderup J, Beller M, Gousios G. Präzi: From Package-based to Precise Call-based Dependency Network Analyses. 2018.

TL;DR: What does RustPräzi do?


With RustPräzi, we go from coarse-grained package-based dependency networks (such as what GitHub uses for their vulnerable package detection) to more fine-grained call-based dependency networks. These allow us to track, for example, whether a vulnerable function of a library is actually being used and whether a security warning really needs to be raised. This is much more precise than package-based dependency networks. In fact, RustPräzi makes such analyses a lot more precise (upto 3x).

Package-based (PDN, above) versus Call-based Dependency Networks (CDN, below)

Use cases

RustPräzi opens the door to many new or more precise analyses:

  • Fine-grained security vulnerability propagation checking
  • Precise license compliance checking
  • Change impact and deprecation analysis ("Which clients break if I as a library maintainer remove this deprecated method?")
  • Health analyses of an entire ecosystem ("What are the most central functions?", "Where should we focus our testing efforts?", ...)
  • ... and more!

Getting started

Installation Prerequisites

  • The Rust toolchain with rustup (download at the offical website)
  • Python 2.7 or 3.7
  • GNU Parallel
  • A pre-built binary of LLVM 4.0 (download at official website). In the config.ini (root of the repository), specify the path to the uncompressed LLVM binary.
  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS

System Setup

  • ⚠️ Building crates can be dangerous as for some crates, this includes running the tests. Hence, it is advised to do it in a sandboxed environment.
  • 💻 We recommend running it on a very powerful system. Compiling 80k+ crates is no easy feat.

1. Create a conf.ini file at the root of the project with the following content


  # specify the path to the untared LLVM binary folder.


  # all data will be stored in this folder

Since the bitcode generation changed in newer versions of Rust, we advise to stick to the compiler versions specified above.

2. Constructing call graphs of crates

  1. Compile the tool
cargo build --bin prazi --release
  1. Download crates, the downloader will fetch the latest index data, build a list of releases and then download/untar them
./target/release/prazi downloader
  1. Rewriting manifests, the manifest rewriter will fix invalid Cargo.toml files (e.g., specifying a non-existent local dependency) by emulating a dry-run of cargo publish
./target/release/prazi rewriter
  1. Building crates, it will first attempt to build all downloaded crates using a stable version of the compiler (as specified in conf.ini). To use a nightly version for failing builds, prepend the flag --nightly
./target/release/prazi build-crates
  1. Building LLVM call graphs
./target/release/prazi build-callgraphs

2. Construct RustPräzi

  1. Install rustfilt for demangling of Rust symbols
cargo install rustfilt
  1. Run graph generator script
./ 2> err.log 1> out.log

Two graphs are generated:

  • ../cdn/graphs/callgraph.ufi.merged.graph -- the call-based dependency network (CDN)
  • ../cdn/graphs/crate.dependency.callgraph.graph -- the packaged-based dependency network derived from the CDN

3. Graph analysis with RustPräzi

Loading Präzi with NetworkX
import networkx as nx
import re

regex = r"^(.*?) \[label:"

def load_prazi(file):
    PRAZI = nx.DiGraph()
    with open(file) as f: #callgraph.ufi.merged.graph
        for line in f:
            if "->" not in line:
                g = re.match(regex, line)
                if g:
                    print "error, could not extract node: %s" % line
                g = re.match('\W*"(.*)" -> "(.*)";', line)
                if g:
                    print "error, could not extract edge: %s" % line
    return PRAZI

def load_prazi_dep(file): 
    PRAZI_DEP = nx.DiGraph()
    with open(file) as f: #crate.dependency.callgraph.graph
        for line in f:
            if "io :: crates :: " in line:
                if "->" not in line:
                    g = re.match('\W*"(.*)" -> "(.*)";', line)
                    if g and ("io :: crates" in and "io :: crates" in
                        print "skip edge: %s" % line
    return  PRAZI_DEP


This project is licensed under either of

at your option.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in RustPräzi by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.