The ABOUT tool and ABOUT files provide a simple way to document the provenance
(origin and license) 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 text file with field/value pairs)
side-by-side with each of the third-party software components you use.
Each ABOUT file documents one software component origin and license.
For more information on the ABOUT file format, visit http://www.dejacode.org
There are many examples of ABOUT files (valid or invalid) in the testdata
directory of the whole repository.
The current version of the ABOUT tool can read these ABOUT files so that you
can collect and validate the inventory of third-party components that you use.
In future versions, this tool will be able to generate attribution notices and
collect redistributable source code used in your project to help you comply
with open source licenses requirements.
This version of the ABOUT tool follows the ABOUT specification version 0.8.0 at:
The ABOUT tool has been tested with Python 2.6 or 2.7 on Linux, Mac and Windows.
You will need to install a Python interpreter if you do not have one already
On Linux and Mac, Python is typically pre-installed. To verify which
version may be pre-installed, open a terminal and type:
On Windows or Mac, you can download Python 2.6 here:
or Python 2.7 here:
Download the .msi installer for Windows or the .dmg archive for Mac.
Open and run the installer using all the default options.
Download and save the about.py file from:
Optionally, to verify that everything works fine you can run the test suite,
download the whole repository at:
Then open a terminal or command prompt, extract the download if needed and run::
The ABOUT tool command syntax is::
$ python about.py [--options] <input> <output>
--overwrite Overwrites the output file if it exists
-v,--version Display current version, license notice, and copyright notice
-h,--help Display syntx help
<input> - Path location where the .ABOUT file(s) located.
The location can be pointing to a file or directory.
<output> - Path location where the generated output will be saved.
The <output> must be a path with an output filename ending
with the ".csv" extension.
$ python about.py ./thirdparty_code/ thirdparty_about.csv
In this example, the .ABOUT files in the directory /thirdparty_code/ will
be parsed and validated to collect the data they contain. The collected
information will be saved to the CSV file named "thirdparty_about.csv".
HELP and SUPPORT
If you have a question of find a bug, enter a ticket at:
The ABOUT tool is available through GitHub. For the latest version visit:
We accept pull requests provided under the same license as this tool.
The ABOUT tool is released under the Apache 2.0 license.
See (of course) the about.ABOUT file for details.