Help for developers

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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


The REUSE 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 ‘How do I …’ in our FAQ to learn about various tool interactions.

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: REUSEstatus

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 tool for a first quick check.

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

Pre-commit hook

You can automatically run reuse lint on every commit as a pre-commit hook for Git. This uses pre-commit. Once you have it installed, add this to the .pre-commit-config.yaml in your repository:

  - repo:
    rev: v4.0.3
      - id: reuse

Then run pre-commit install. Now, every time you commit, reuse lint is run in the background, and will prevent your commit from going through if there was an error.

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:

  - name: reuse
    image: fsfe/reuse:latest

More information about Drone on


GitHub users can integrate the REUSE action in their workflow. Include the following file as .github/workflows/reuse.yaml:

name: REUSE Compliance Check

on: [push, pull_request]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v4
      - name: REUSE Compliance Check
        uses: fsfe/reuse-action@v4

Visit the action’s marketplace page for more usage instructions.

More information about GitHub Actions on


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

    name: fsfe/reuse:latest
    entrypoint: [""]
    - 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 -v ${TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR}:/data fsfe/reuse:latest lint

More information on Travis CI on