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SBOM generator for Python modules

Project description


The SBOM4Python is a free, open source tool to generate a SBOM (Software Bill of Materials) for an installed Python module in a number of formats including SPDX and CycloneDX. It identifies all of the dependent components which are explicity defined (typically via requirements.txt file) or implicitly as a hidden dependency.

It is intended to be used as part of a continuous integration system to enable accurate records of SBOMs to be maintained and also to support subsequent audit needs to determine if a particular component (and version) has been used.


To install use the following command:

pip install sbom4python

Alternatively, just clone the repo and install dependencies using the following command:

pip install -U -r requirements.txt

The tool requires Python 3 (3.7+). It is recommended to use a virtual python environment especially if you are using different versions of python. virtualenv is a tool for setting up virtual python environments which allows you to have all the dependencies for the tool set up in a single environment, or have different environments set up for testing using different versions of Python.


usage: sbom4python [-h] [-m MODULE] [--exclude-license] [--include-file] [-d]
                   [--sbom {spdx,cyclonedx}] [--format {tag,json,yaml}]
                   [-o OUTPUT_FILE] [-g GRAPH] [-V]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -V, --version         show program's version number and exit

  -m MODULE, --module MODULE
                        identity of python module
  --exclude-license     suppress detecting the license of components
  --include-file        include reporting files associated with module

  -d, --debug           add debug information
  --sbom {spdx,cyclonedx}
                        specify type of software bill of materials (sbom) to
                        generate (default: spdx)
  --format {tag,json,yaml}
                        specify format of software bill of materials (sbom) (default: tag)
  -o OUTPUT_FILE, --output-file OUTPUT_FILE
                        output filename (default: output to stdout)
  -g GRAPH, --graph GRAPH
                        filename for dependency graph


The --module option is used to identify the Python module.

The --sbom option is used to specify the format of the generated SBOM (the default is SPDX). The --format option can be used to specify the formatting of the SBOM (the default is Tag Value format for a SPDX SBOM). JSON format is supported for both SPDX and CycloneDX SBOMs).

The --output-file option is used to control the destination of the output generated by the tool. The default is to report to the console but can be stored in a file (specified using --output-file option).

The tool attempts to determine the license of each module. This can be suppressed using the --exclude-license option in which case all licences are reported as 'NOASSERTION'.

The tool can optionally include the files associated with the installed module. This can be specified using the --include-file option. As the filenames are relative to the directory in which the tool is invoked, it is recommended that the tool is launched in a directory where the source files are available.

The --graph option is used to generate a dependency graph of the components within the SBOM. The format of the graph file is compatible with the DOT language used by the GraphViz application.


Licenced under the Apache 2.0 Licence.

The tool uses a local copy of the SPDX Licenses List which is released under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY-3.0).


This tool is meant to support software development and security audit functions. However the usefulness of the tool is dependent on the SBOM data which is provided to the tool. Unfortunately, the tool is unable to determine the validity or completeness of such a SBOM file; users of the tool are therefore reminded that they should assert the quality of any data which is provided to the tool.

When processing and validating licenses, the application will use a set of synonyms to attempt to map some license identifiers to the correct SPDX License Identifiers. However, the user of the tool is reminded that they should assert the quality of any data which is provided by the tool particularly where the license identifier has been modified.

Whilst PURL and CPE references are automatically generated for each Python module, the accuracy of such references cannot be guaranteed as they are dependent on the validity of the data associated with the Python module.

Feedback and Contributions

Bugs and feature requests can be made via GitHub Issues.

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