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7.0.5 • Public • Published

CycloneDX Generator

cdxgen logo

This tool creates a valid and compliant CycloneDX Software Bill-of-Materials (SBOM) containing an aggregate of all project dependencies for c/c++, node.js, php, python, ruby, rust, java, .Net, dart, haskell, elixir, and Go projects in XML and JSON format. CycloneDX 1.4 is a lightweight SBOM specification that is easily created, human and machine-readable, and simple to parse.

When used with plugins, cdxgen could generate an SBoM for Linux docker images and even VMs running Linux or Windows operating system.

Supported languages and package format

Language/Platform Package format Transitive dependencies
node.js npm-shrinkwrap.json, package-lock.json, pnpm-lock.yaml, yarn.lock, rush.js, bower.json, .min.js Yes except .min.js
java maven (pom.xml [1]), gradle (build.gradle, .kts), scala (sbt), bazel Yes unless pom.xml is manually parsed due to unavailability of maven or errors
php composer.lock Yes
python, requirements.txt [2], Pipfile.lock, poetry.lock, bdist_wheel, .whl, .egg-info Only with Pipfile.lock and poetry.lock
go binary, go.mod, go.sum, Gopkg.lock Yes except binary
ruby Gemfile.lock, gemspec Only for Gemfile.lock
rust binary, Cargo.toml, Cargo.lock Only for Cargo.lock
.Net .csproj, packages.config, project.assets.json [3], packages.lock.json, .nupkg Only for project.assets.json, packages.lock.json
dart pubspec.lock, pubspec.yaml Only for pubspec.lock
haskell cabal.project.freeze Yes
elixir mix.lock Yes
c/c++ conan.lock, conanfile.txt Yes only for conan.lock
clojure Clojure CLI (deps.edn), Leiningen (project.clj) Yes unless the files are parsed manually due to lack of clojure cli or leiningen command
docker / oci image All supported languages. Linux OS packages with plugins [4] Best effort based on lock files
GitHub Actions .github/workflows/*.yml N/A
Linux All supported languages. Linux OS packages with plugins [5] Best effort based on lock files
Windows All supported languages. OS packages with best effort [5] Best effort based on lock files
Jenkins Plugins .hpi files
Helm Charts .yaml N/A
Skaffold .yaml N/A
kustomization .yaml N/A
Tekton tasks .yaml N/A
Kubernetes .yaml N/A
Maven Cache $HOME/.m2/repository/**/*.jar N/A
SBT Cache $HOME/.ivy2/cache/**/*.jar N/A
Gradle Cache $HOME/caches/modules-2/files-2.1/**/*.jar N/A
Helm Index $HOME/.cache/helm/repository/**/*.yaml N/A
Docker compose docker-compose*.yml. Images would also be scanned. N/A
Google CloudBuild configuration cloudbuild.yaml N/A
OpenAPI openapi*.json, openapi*.yaml N/A
Privado privado.json Data and service information will be included. Use with universal mode.


  • Apache maven 3.x is required for parsing pom.xml
  • gradle or gradlew is required to parse gradle projects
  • sbt is required for parsing scala sbt projects. Only scala 2.10 + sbt 0.13.6+ and 2.12 + sbt 1.0+ is supported for now.
    • Alternatively, create a lock file using sbt-dependency-lock plugin


  • [1] - For multi-module application, the BoM file could include components that may not be included in the packaged war or ear file.
  • [2] - Use pip freeze to improve the accuracy for requirements.txt based parsing. python -m pip freeze > requirements.txt
  • [3] - Perform dotnet or nuget restore to generate project.assets.json. Without this file cdxgen would not include indirect dependencies.
  • [4] - See section on plugins
  • [5] - Powered by osquery. See section on plugins

Automatic usage detection

For node.js projects, lock files are parsed initially so the SBoM would include all dependencies including dev dependencies. An AST parser powered by babel-parser is then used to detect packages that are imported and used by non-test code. Such imported packages would automatically have their scope property set to required in the resulting SBoM. By passing the argument --no-babel, you can disable this analysis. Scope property would then be set based on the dev attribute in the lock file.

This attribute can be later used for various purposes. For example, dep-scan use this attribute to prioritize vulnerabilities. Tools such dependency track, unfortunately, do not include this feature and hence might over-report the CVEs.

By passing the argument --required-only, you can limit the SBoM to only include packages with the scope "required", commonly referred to as production or non-dev dependencies. Combine with --no-babel to limit this list to only non-dev dependencies based on the dev attribute being false in the lock files.

For go, go mod why command is used to identify required packages. For php, composer lock file is used to distinguish required (packages) from optional (packages-dev).



sudo npm install -g @appthreat/cdxgen

You can also use the cdxgen container image

docker run --rm -it -v /tmp:/tmp -v $(pwd):/app:rw -t -r /app

Getting Help

$ cdxgen -h
  -o, --output           Output file for bom.xml or bom.json. Default console
  -t, --type             Project type
  -r, --recurse          Recurse mode suitable for mono-repos          [boolean]
  -p, --print            Print the SBoM as a table                     [boolean]
  -c, --resolve-class    Resolve class names for packages. jars only for now.
      --deep             Perform deep searches for components. Useful while
                         scanning live OS and oci images.              [boolean]
      --server-url       Dependency track or AppThreat server url. Eg:
      --api-key          Dependency track or AppThreat server api key
      --project-group    Dependency track or AppThreat project group
      --project-name     Dependency track or AppThreat project name. Default use
                         the directory name
      --project-version  Dependency track or AppThreat project version
      --project-id       Dependency track or AppThreat project id. Either
                         provide the id or the project name and version together
      --required-only    Include only the packages with required scope on the
                         SBoM.                                         [boolean]
      --fail-on-error    Fail if any dependency extractor fails.       [boolean]
      --no-babel         Do not use babel to perform usage analysis for
                         JavaScript/TypeScript projects.               [boolean]
      --generate-key-and-sign  Generate an RSA public/private key pair and then
                               sign the generated SBoM using JSON Web
                               Signatures.                             [boolean]
      --server                 Run cdxgen as a server                  [boolean]
      --server-host            Listen address             [default: ""]
      --server-port            Listen port                     [default: "9090"]
      --version          Show version number                           [boolean]
  -h                     Show help                                     [boolean]


Minimal example.

cdxgen -o bom.json


cdxgen would always produce bom in both xml and json format as per CycloneDX 1.4 specification. json is the recommended format.

For a java project. This would automatically detect maven, gradle or sbt and build bom accordingly

cdxgen -t java -o bom.json

To print the SBoM as a table pass -p argument.

cdxgen -t java -o bom.json -p

To recursively generate a single BoM for all languages pass -r argument.

cdxgen -r -o bom.json

Universal SBoM

By passing the type -t universal, cdxgen could be forced to opportunistically collect as many components and services as possible by scanning all package, container and kubernetes manifests. The resulting SBoM could have over thousand components thus requiring additional triaging before use with traditional SCA tools.

SBoM server

Invoke cdxgen with --server argument to run it in a server mode. By default, it listens to port 9090 which can be customized with the arguments --server-host and --server-port.

cdxgen --server

Or use the container image.

docker run --rm -it -v /tmp:/tmp -p 9090:9090 -v $(pwd):/app:rw -t -r /app --server

Use curl or your favourite tool to pass arguments to the /sbom route.

Scanning a local path

curl ""

Scanning a git repo

curl ""

You can POST the arguments.

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" http://localhost:9090/sbom -XPOST -d $'{"url": "", "type": "nodejs", "multiProject": "true"}'

Docker compose

git clone
docker compose up support

In universal mode, cdxgen can look for any Privado scan reports and enrich the SBoM with data (flow and classification), endpoints, and leakage information. Such an SBoM would help with privacy compliance and use cases.

Invoke privado scan first to generate this report followed by an invocation of cdxgen in universal mode as shown.

privado scan --enable-javascript <directory>
cdxgen -t universal <directory> -o bom.json

War file support

cdxgen can generate a BoM file from a given war file.

# cdxgen -t java app.war
cdxgen app.war

Resolving class names

Sometimes it is necessary to resolve class names contained in jar files. By passing an optional argument --resolve-class, it is possible to get cdxgen create a separate mapping file with the jar name (including the version) as the key and class names list as a value.

cdxgen -t java --resolve-class -o bom.json

This would create a file with the jar - class name mapping. Refer to these examples to learn about the structure.

Resolving licenses

cdxgen can automatically query the public registries such as maven or npm or nuget to resolve the package licenses. This is a time consuming operation and is disabled by default. To enable, set the environment variable FETCH_LICENSE to true as shown.

export FETCH_LICENSE=true

Dependency Tree

cdxgen can retain the dependency tree under the dependencies attribute for a small number of supported package manifests. These are currently limited to:

  • package-lock.json
  • yarn.lock
  • pnpm-lock.yaml
  • Maven (pom.xml)
  • Gradle

Environment variables

Variable Description
SCAN_DEBUG_MODE Set to debug to enable debug messages
GITHUB_TOKEN Specify GitHub token to prevent traffic shaping while querying license and repo information
MVN_CMD Set to override maven command
MVN_ARGS Set to pass additional arguments such as profile or settings to maven
MAVEN_HOME Specify maven home
GRADLE_CACHE_DIR Specify gradle cache directory. Useful for class name resolving
GRADLE_MULTI_PROJECT_MODE Set this variable for gradle multi-project applications. Do not use this with recurse mode.
GRADLE_ARGS Set to pass additional arguments such as profile or settings to gradle. Eg: --configuration runtimeClassPath
GRADLE_HOME Specify gradle home
GRADLE_CMD Set to override gradle command
GRADLE_DEPENDENCY_TASK By default cdxgen use the task "dependencies" to collect packages. Set to override the task name.
SBT_CACHE_DIR Specify sbt cache directory. Useful for class name resolving
FETCH_LICENSE Set to true to fetch license information from the registry. npm and golang only
USE_GOSUM Set to true to generate BOMs for golang projects using go.sum as the dependency source of truth, instead of go.mod
CDXGEN_TIMEOUT_MS Default timeout for known execution involving maven, gradle or sbt
BAZEL_TARGET Bazel target to build. Default :all (Eg: //java-maven)
CLJ_CMD Set to override the clojure cli command
LEIN_CMD Set to override the leiningen command
SBOM_SIGN_ALGORITHM Signature algorithm. Some valid values are RS256, RS384, RS512, PS256, PS384, PS512, ES256 etc
SBOM_SIGN_PRIVATE_KEY Private key to use for signing
SBOM_SIGN_PUBLIC_KEY Optional. Public key to include in the SBoM signature

Integration with GitHub action

Use the GitHub action to automatically generate and upload bom to the server. Refer to nodejs.yml in this repo for a working example.

Integration with Google CloudBuild

Use this custom builder and refer to the readme for instruction.


cdxgen could be extended with external binary plugins to support more SBoM use cases. These are now installed as an optional dependency.

sudo npm install -g @appthreat/cdxgen-plugins-bin

Docker / OCI container support

docker type is automatically detected based on the presence of values such as sha256 or prefix etc in the path.

cdxgen odoo@sha256:4e1e147f0e6714e8f8c5806d2b484075b4076ca50490577cdf9162566086d15e -o /tmp/bom.json

You can also pass -t docker for simple labels. Only the latest tag would be pulled if none was specified.

cdxgen shiftleft/scan-slim -o /tmp/bom.json -t docker

You can also pass the .tar file of a container image.

docker save -o /tmp/slim.tar shiftleft/scan-slim
podman save -q --format oci-archive -o /tmp/slim.tar shiftleft/scan-slim
cdxgen /tmp/slim.tar -o /tmp/bom.json -t docker


  • Only application related packages are collected by cdxgen. Support for OS installed packages is coming soon.

Podman in rootless mode

Setup podman in either rootless or remote mode

On Linux, do not forget to start the podman socket which is required for API access.

systemctl --user enable --now podman.socket
systemctl --user start podman.socket
podman system service -t 0 &

Generate SBoM for a live system

You can use cdxgen to generate SBoM for a live system or a VM for compliance and vulnerability management purposes by passing the argument -t os.

cdxgen -t os

This feature is powered by osquery which is installed along with the binary plugins. cdxgen would opportunistically try to detect as many components, apps and extensions as possible using the default queries. The process would take several minutes and result in an SBoM file with thousands of components.

SBoM signing

cdxgen can sign the generated SBoM json file to increase authenticity and non-repudiation capabilities. To enable this, set the following environment variables.

  • SBOM_SIGN_ALGORITHM: Algorithm. Example: RS512
  • SBOM_SIGN_PRIVATE_KEY: Location to the RSA private key
  • SBOM_SIGN_PUBLIC_KEY: Optional. Location to the RSA public key

To generate test public/private key pairs, you can run cdxgen by passing the argument --generate-key-and-sign. The generated json file would have an attribute called signature which could be used for validation. is a known site that could be used for such signature validation.

SBoM signing

Automatic services detection

cdxgen could automatically detect names of services from YAML manifests such as docker-compose or Kubernetes or Skaffold manifests. These would be populated under the services attribute in the generated SBoM. Please help improve this feature by filing issues for any inaccurate detection.

Conversion to SPDX format

Use the CycloneDX CLI tool for advanced use cases such as conversion, diff and merging.


Permission to modify and redistribute is granted under the terms of the Apache 2.0 license. See the LICENSE file for the full license.

Discord support

The developers could be reached via the discord channel.

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