Help for developers

Licensing should be easy for developers. We provide several tools and services to allow you to concentrate on coding.

Contents: Helper tool, example repositories, REUSE API, CI/CD workflows

Helper Tool

The REUSE helper tool assists with achieving and confirming REUSE compliance. It downloads the full license texts, adds copyright and license information to file headers, and contains a linter to identify problems. Eventually, you can generate a software bill of materials.

Read the documentation to learn more about the tool. You will also find a tool section in our FAQ for the most pressing questions.

Example repositories

What does a REUSE-compliant project look like? The following repositories are basic, but each of them is REUSE-compliant. We make them available to demonstrate how REUSE works in practice.

Consider registering your project with the REUSE API to include a dynamic compliance badge.


The REUSE API helps you to continuously check and display compliance with the REUSE guidelines. You can include a badge indicating the live status in your README file, and parse the output using the generated JSON file.

This is how the badge will look like for a REUSE compliant project. You can click on the badge to see more information: REUSE status

The API is the perfect tool for everyone who wants to show that their repository follows best practices in providing licensing and copyright information. It allows third-party services to integrate the live REUSE status, and offers a simple alternative for people who do not want to install the REUSE helper tool for a first quick check.

As everything else in REUSE, the API is publicly available under Free Software licenses.

Inclusion in CI/CD workflows

REUSE can be easily integrated into your existing CI/CD processes to continuously test your repository and its changes for REUSE compliance.

The FSFE offers a Docker image which can be used in numerous CI solutions. Find a few examples below:


Include the following snippet in your .drone.yml file:

    image: fsfe/reuse:latest
      - reuse lint

More information about Drone on


Include the following snippet in your .github/workflows/*.yml file:

- name: Check REUSE compliance
        uses: docker://fsfe/reuse
          args: reuse lint

More information about GitHub Actions on


Include the following snippet in your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

  image: fsfe/reuse:latest
    - reuse lint

More information about GitLab’s CI on

Travis CI

Include the following snippet in your .travis.yml file:

language: minimal

  - docker

- docker pull fsfe/reuse:latest
- docker run --name reuse -v ${TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR}:/repo fsfe/reuse /bin/sh -c "cd /repo; reuse lint"

More information on Travis CI on