Fossology 1.0 – a licensing auditing tool

Fossology is a Free Software application initially developed internally by HP to inspect and audit Free (Open Source) Software and then made a separate project and released under the GNU GPL license. Yesterday it turned 1.0, claiming to be zillion times as fast as the previous version. More from the release of the Fossology people.

Now celebrating its first birthday as an open source software project, FOSSology is a Free Open Source Software (FOSS) project built around an open and modular architecture for analyzing software. Existing modules include license analysis, meta data extraction, and MIME type identification. This open source software tool analyzes a given set of software packages, and reports items such as the software licenses used by these packages.

More than simply reporting, “Package X uses license Y,” the FOSSology tool attempts to analyze every file within the package to determine its license. The license report is thus an aggregate of all of the different licenses found to be in use by a package. A single package may be labeled as “GPL” but contain files that use other licenses (BSD, OSL, or any of the hundreds of other licenses). Even if an exact license is unknown, the license may be identifiable by common license phrases.

The FOSSology Project started as an internal software development effort within Hewlett-Packard’s Open Source and Linux Organization. The tool evolved over several years at HP from a few simple shell scripts to the much more comprehensive tool you see today.


View the complete release notes for FOSSology 1.0.0 for more details:

For more information on the FOSSology project and to download the software, please visit

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