The ABOUT tool and ABOUT files provide a simple way to document the (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 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: