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Build Status Coverage Status GitHub release Go Reference CII Best Practices

SPDX tools-golang

tools-golang is a collection of Go packages intended to make it easier for Go programs to work with SPDX® files.

Recent news

2022-04-03: v0.3.0: added support for saving SPDX JSON files as well as other improvements and bugfixes. See for full details.

What it does

tools-golang currently works with files conformant to versions 2.1 and 2.2 of the SPDX specification, available at:

tools-golang provides the following packages:

  • spdx - in-memory data model for the sections of an SPDX document
  • tvloader - tag-value document loader
  • tvsaver - tag-value document saver
  • rdfloader - RDF document loader
  • json - JSON document parser and writer
  • yaml - YAML document parser and writer
  • builder - builds "empty" SPDX document (with hashes) for directory contents
  • idsearcher - searches for SPDX short-form IDs and builds SPDX document
  • licensediff - compares concluded licenses between files in two packages
  • reporter - generates basic license count report from SPDX document
  • spdxlib - various utility functions for manipulating SPDX documents in memory
  • utils - various utility functions that support the other tools-golang packages

Examples for how to use these packages can be found in the examples/ directory.

What it doesn't do

tools-golang doesn't currently do any of the following:

  • work with files under any version of the SPDX spec prior to v2.1
  • convert between different versions of SPDX documents (e.g., from 2.1 to 2.2)
  • enable applications to interact with SPDX files without needing to care (too much) about the particular SPDX file version

We are working towards adding functionality for all of these. Code contributions are welcome!


tools-golang uses to manage RDF input and output.

Other than that, tools-golang does not require anything outside the Go standard library.


SPDX tools-golang documentation is available on the website at


Thank you to all of the contributors to spdx/tools-golang. A full list can be found in the GitHub repo and in the release notes.

In particular, thank you to the following for major contributions:

JSON parsing and saving support was added by @specter25 as part of his Google Summer of Code 2021 project.

RDF parsing support was added by @RishabhBhatnagar as part of his Google Summer of Code 2020 project.


As indicated in LICENSE-code, tools-golang source code files are provided and may be used, at your option, under either:

  • Apache License, version 2.0 (Apache-2.0), OR
  • GNU General Public License, version 2.0 or later (GPL-2.0-or-later).

As indicated in LICENSE-docs, tools-golang documentation files are provided and may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC-BY-4.0).

This file is documentation:

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0


Collection of Go packages to work with SPDX files



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