Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources


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Open sources are a very special part of the IT world. They are built by communities full of passion and willingness to use their skills for a good cause. Open-source developers often sacrifice their free time to contribute to projects that can and are changing lives of many people around the world. To help them in their mission, many companies and organizations are providing their products and services to open sources with no charge. In this article we will introduce you to a few options of free static code analysis tools for open sources.

What is a static code analysis?

Static code analysis is a process of checking if the source code contains any bugs. It is performed before a program is run, in order to discover any possible errors and vulnerabilities of the code at an early stage of work. Using static code analysis tools that check the code automatically can make developer’s work a lot faster. It can also maximize effectiveness of the whole process.

For the open-source developers, whose time spent on the project is limited, using such tools is a great solution. It increases the efficiency of their work, as well as the quality of code. 

To help you find the best solution for yourself, we have listed some of these tools below, choosing only the ones that have a free-of-charge offer for the open sources.


Free Static Code Analysis

SonarQube analyzes the clarity and safety of your code. For the satisfying outcome, the code needs to pass through the Quality Gate. If there are bugs or vulnerabilities detected, the program will provide you with all the information that you need in order to fix the problems. 

SonarQube analyzes your code in terms of security as well. It conducts Static Application Security Testing (SAST), and provides you with detailed explanations on detected problems along with the tips on how to solve them.

The program works with 29 programming languages, giving users a lot of options, and being suitable for many different types of applications.

Being an open source itself, SonarQube supports other initiatives of this type. The Community Edition of the program is available for free, and you can download it here.


Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources

Codacy helps you identify vulnerabilities in your code, according to the OWASP Top 10. Detecting security problems early can prevent you from much more trouble in the later phases of your work. Codacy offers you tools to standardize your code across all of your teams and projects. You can apply code patterns and be notified whenever there are any defections.

The program’s goal is to help you save as much time as possible, facilitating the process of code analysis by blocking merges of pull requests on the basis of your quality code rules and patterns.

It supports over 40 programming languages, giving users an even wider range of possibilities than SonarQube.

As an open source team, you can use Codacy for free. Download it here.

Coverity Scan

Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources

Coverity Scan is a static code analysis tool dedicated mainly to open-source projects. It helps in finding problematic security and quality issues in your source code. The program creators provide a list of examples of use cases. Their Quality Advisor can detect the following issues:

  • resources leaks;
  • dereferences of NULL pointers;
  • incorrect usage of APIs;
  • use of uninitialized data;
  • memory corruptions;
  • buffer overruns;
  • control flow issues;
  • error handling issues;
  • incorrect expressions;
  • concurrency issues;
  • insecure data handling;
  • unsafe use of signed values;
  • use of resources that have been freed, etc.

It is compatible with projects written in C, C++, Java C#, or JavaScript.

You can sign up here and register your open-source project for free access to the program.


Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources

Snyk offers a user-friendly experience for developers who want to check their code’s quality and security quickly and thoroughly. The analysis is conducted in real-time, to help you fix problems as soon as possible. The program provides useful information on how to prevent certain issues.

Snyk has special features dedicated to open source projects, such as dependency path analysis, runtime prioritization, exploitability data, and accuracy control.

As an open-source project, you can download it for free here. It offers 200 free open-source tests per month.


Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources

Sonar is a code checking tool that easily integrates with your existing workflow. It automatically checks the quality of your code, and fails it, if there are issues that need to be solved before your work is continued. The program does not require additional configuration, making it quick and easy to start analyzing your code right away. 

It supports 26 programming languages.

SonarCloud is available for open sources with no charge. You can download it here.


Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources

Qodana is a tool that checks the integrity and quality of your code. It analyzes your project, allows you to choose relevant checks, prioritize issues, and set up quality gates that your code needs to pass, in order to be on a satisfying level.

The results of analysis are displayed in a form of a clean and colorful diagram that helps to quickly understand what stage of work you are at. Diagram’s data are always up to date, making it easier to check your progress. You can explore the issues shown on the diagram by simply clicking at them. The program also allows you to filter the types of information that is being shown on the diagram.

Qodana integrates with Java, Phyton, PHP and JS.

You can apply for the free open source license here. It will give you access to all JetBrains tools.


Free Static Code Analysis Tools for Open Sources

PMD is an open-source tool designed to find common code flaws, such as unused variables, empty catch blocks, unnecessary object creation, etc. It supports Java, JavaScript, Apex and Visualforce, PLSQL, Apache Velocity, XML, and XSL.

It also allows you to find code duplications in Java, C, C++, C#, Groovy, PHP, Ruby, Fortran, JavaScript, PLSQL, Apache Velocity, Scala, Objective C, Matlab, Python, Go, Swift and Apex and Visualforce.

You can download it for free here.

If you’re interested in the topic of open sources, check out our other articles!


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