Dependency Scanning

The Dependency Scanning feature can automatically find security vulnerabilities in your software dependencies while you’re developing and testing your applications. For example, dependency scanning lets you know if your application uses an external (open source) library that is known to be vulnerable. You can then take action to protect your application.

Dependency Scanning is often considered part of Software Composition Analysis (SCA). SCA can contain aspects of inspecting the items your code uses. These items typically include application and system dependencies that are almost always imported from external sources, rather than sourced from items you wrote yourself.

GitLab offers both Dependency Scanning and Container Scanning to ensure coverage for all of these dependency types. To cover as much of your risk area as possible, we encourage you to use all of our security scanners:

  • Dependency Scanning analyzes your project and tells you which software dependencies, including upstream dependencies, have been included in your project, and what known risks the dependencies contain. Dependency Scanning modifies its behavior based on the language and package manager of the project. It typically looks for a lock file then performs a build to fetch upstream dependency information. In the case of containers, Dependency Scanning uses the compatible manifest and reports only these declared software dependencies (and those installed as a sub-dependency). Dependency Scanning can not detect software dependencies that are pre-bundled into the container’s base image. To identify pre-bundled dependencies, enable Container Scanning language scanning using the CS_DISABLE_LANGUAGE_VULNERABILITY_SCAN variable.
  • Container Scanning analyzes your containers and tells you about known risks in the operating system’s (OS) packages. You can configure it to also report on software and language dependencies, if you enable it and use the CS_DISABLE_LANGUAGE_VULNERABILITY_SCAN variable. Turning this variable on can result in some duplicate findings, as we do not yet de-duplicate results between Container Scanning and Dependency Scanning. For more details, efforts to de-duplicate these findings can be tracked in this issue.


If you’re using GitLab CI/CD, you can use dependency scanning to analyze your dependencies for known vulnerabilities. GitLab scans all dependencies, including transitive dependencies (also known as nested dependencies). You can take advantage of dependency scanning by either:

GitLab checks the dependency scanning report, compares the found vulnerabilities between the source and target branches, and shows the information on the merge request. The results are sorted by the severity of the vulnerability.

Dependency scanning Widget


Dependency Scanning runs in the test stage, which is available by default. If you redefine the stages in the .gitlab-ci.yml file, the test stage is required.

To run dependency scanning jobs, by default, you need GitLab Runner with the docker or kubernetes executor. If you’re using the shared runners on, this is enabled by default. The analyzer images provided are for the Linux/amd64 architecture.

If you use your own runners, make sure your installed version of Docker is not 19.03.0. See troubleshooting information for details.
Dependency Scanning does not support run-time installation of compilers and interpreters. If you have need of this, please explain why by filling out the survey here.

Supported languages and package managers

Dependency Scanning automatically detects the languages used in the repository. All analyzers matching the detected languages are run. There is usually no need to customize the selection of analyzers. We recommend not specifying the analyzers so you automatically use the full selection for best coverage, avoiding the need to make adjustments when there are deprecations or removals. However, you can override the selection using the variable DS_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS.

The language detection relies on CI job rules and searches a maximum of two directory levels from the repository’s root. For example, the gemnasium-dependency_scanning job is enabled if a repository contains either Gemfile, api/Gemfile, or api/client/Gemfile, but not if the only supported dependency file is api/v1/client/Gemfile.

The following languages and dependency managers are supported:

Language Language Versions Package Manager Supported files Analyzer Processes multiple files?
Ruby N/A Bundler
  • Gemfile.lock
  • gems.locked
Gemnasium Y
Gemfile.lock bundler-audit N
PHP N/A Composer composer.lock Gemnasium Y
C N/A Conan conan.lock Gemnasium Y
Go N/A Go go.sum Gemnasium Y
Java 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17 Gradle1
  • build.gradle
  • build.gradle.kts
Gemnasium N
Maven pom.xml Gemnasium N
JavaScript N/A npm
  • package-lock.json
  • npm-shrinkwrap.json
Gemnasium Y
package.json Retire.js N
N/A yarn yarn.lock Gemnasium Y
.NET N/A NuGet packages.lock.json Gemnasium Y
Python 3.6 setuptools Gemnasium N
  • requirements.txt
  • requirements.pip
  • requires.txt
Gemnasium N
Pipenv Gemnasium N
Scala N/A sbt3 build.sbt Gemnasium N
  1. Although Gradle with Java 8 is supported, there are other issues such that Android project builds are not supported at this time. Please see the backlog issue Android support for Dependency Scanning (gemnasium-maven) for more details.

  2. The presence of a Pipfile.lock file alone will not trigger the analyzer; the presence of a Pipfile is still required in order for the analyzer to be executed. However, if a Pipfile.lock file is found, it will be used by Gemnasium to scan the exact package versions listed in this file.

    Support for Pipfile.lock files without requiring the presence of a Pipfile is tracked in issue: Dependency Scanning of Pipfile.lock without installing project dependencies.

  3. Support for sbt 1.3 and above was added in GitLab 13.9.

How analyzers obtain dependency information

GitLab analyzers obtain dependency information using one of the following two methods:

  1. Parsing lockfiles directly.
  2. Running a package manager or build tool to generate a dependency information file which is then parsed.

Obtaining dependency information by parsing lockfiles

The following package managers use lockfiles that GitLab analyzers are capable of parsing directly:

Package Manager Supported File Format Versions Tested Versions
Bundler N/A 1.17.3, 2.1.4
Composer N/A 1.x
Conan 0.4 1.x
Go N/A 1.x
NuGet v1 4.9
npm v1, v2 6.x, 7.x
yarn v1 1.x

Obtaining dependency information by running a package manager to generate a parsable file

To support the following package managers, the GitLab analyzers proceed in two steps:

  1. Execute the package manager or a specific task, to export the dependency information.
  2. Parse the exported dependency information.
Package Manager Pre-installed Versions Tested Versions
Bundler 2.1.41 1.17.3, 2.1.4
sbt 1.6.1 1.0.4, 1.1.6, 1.2.8, 1.3.12, 1.4.6, 1.5.8, 1.6.1
Maven 3.6.3 3.6.3
Gradle 6.7.12, 7.3.32 5.6.4, 6.73, 6.9, 7.33
setuptools 50.3.2 57.5.0
pip 20.2.4 20.x
Pipenv 2018.11.26 2018.11.264, 2018.11.26
  1. The pre-installed and tested version of Bundler is only used for the bundler-audit analyzer, and is not used for gemnasium.

  2. Different versions of Java require different versions of Gradle. The versions of Gradle listed in the above table are pre-installed in the analyzer image. The version of Gradle used by the analyzer depends on whether your project uses a gradlew (Gradle wrapper) file or not:

    • If your project does not use a gradlew file, then the analyzer automatically switches to one of the pre-installed Gradle versions, based on the version of Java specified by the DS_JAVA_VERSION variable.

      You can view the Gradle Java compatibility matrix to see which version of Gradle is selected for each Java version. Note that we only support switching to one of these pre-installed Gradle versions for Java versions 13 to 17.

    • If your project does use a gradlew file, then the version of Gradle pre-installed in the analyzer image is ignored, and the version specified in your gradlew file is used instead.

  3. These tests confirm that if a gradlew file does not exist, the version of Gradle pre-installed in the analyzer image is used.

  4. This test confirms that if a Pipfile.lock file is found, it will be used by Gemnasium to scan the exact package versions listed in this file.

How analyzers are triggered

GitLab relies on rules:exists to start the relevant analyzers for the languages detected by the presence of the Supported files in the repository as shown in the table above.

The current detection logic limits the maximum search depth to two levels. For example, the gemnasium-dependency_scanning job is enabled if a repository contains either a Gemfile.lock, api/Gemfile.lock, or api/client/Gemfile.lock, but not if the only supported dependency file is api/v1/client/Gemfile.lock.

How multiple files are processed

If you’ve run into problems while scanning multiple files, please contribute a comment to this issue.


The following analyzers are executed, each of which have different behavior when processing multiple files:

  • Gemnasium

    Supports multiple lockfiles.

  • bundler-audit

    Does not support multiple lockfiles. When multiple lockfiles exist, bundler-audit analyzes the first lockfile discovered while traversing the directory tree in alphabetical order.

The bundler-audit analyzer is deprecated and will be removed in GitLab 15.0 since it duplicates the functionality of the gemnasium analyzer. For more information, read the deprecation announcement.


We only execute one installation in the directory where a requirements file has been detected, such as requirements.txt or any variation of this file (for example, requirements.pip or requires.txt).

Java and Scala

We only execute one build in the directory where a build file has been detected, such as build.sbt or build.gradle. Please note, we support the following types of Java project structures:


The following analyzers are executed, each of which have different behavior when processing multiple files:

  • Gemnasium

    Supports multiple lockfiles

  • Retire.js

    Does not support multiple lockfiles. When multiple lockfiles exist, Retire.js analyzes the first lockfile discovered while traversing the directory tree in alphabetical order.

From GitLab 14.8 the Gemnasium analyzer scans supported JavaScript projects for vendored libraries (that is, those checked into the project but not managed by the package manager).

The retire.js analyzer is deprecated and will be removed in GitLab 15.0 since it duplicates the functionality of the gemnasium analyzer. For more information, read the deprecation announcement. We execute both analyzers because they use different sources of vulnerability data. The result is more comprehensive analysis than if only one was executed.

PHP, Go, C, C++, .NET, C#

The analyzer for these languages supports multiple lockfiles.

Support for additional languages

Support for additional languages, dependency managers, and dependency files are tracked in the following issues:

Package Managers Languages Supported files Scan tools Issue
Poetry Python poetry.lock Gemnasium GitLab#7006

For workarounds, see the Troubleshooting section.

Contribute your scanner

The Security Scanner Integration documentation explains how to integrate other security scanners into GitLab.


To enable dependency scanning for GitLab 11.9 and later, you must include the Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml template that is provided as a part of your GitLab installation. For GitLab versions earlier than 11.9, you can copy and use the job as defined that template.

Add the following to your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

The included template creates dependency scanning jobs in your CI/CD pipeline and scans your project’s source code for possible vulnerabilities. The results are saved as a dependency scanning report artifact that you can later download and analyze. Due to implementation limitations, we always take the latest dependency scanning artifact available.

Enable Dependency Scanning via an automatic merge request

Version history

To enable Dependency Scanning in a project, you can create a merge request:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  3. In the Dependency Scanning row, select Configure with a merge request.
  4. Review and merge the merge request to enable Dependency Scanning.

Pipelines now include a dependency scanning job.

Customizing the dependency scanning settings

The Dependency Scanning settings can be changed through CI/CD variables by using the variables parameter in .gitlab-ci.yml. For example:

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml


Because template is evaluated before the pipeline configuration, the last mention of the variable takes precedence.

Overriding dependency scanning jobs

Beginning in GitLab 13.0, the use of only and except is no longer supported. When overriding the template, you must use rules instead.

To override a job definition (for example, to change properties like variables or dependencies), declare a new job with the same name as the one to override. Place this new job after the template inclusion and specify any additional keys under it. For example, this disables DS_REMEDIATE for the gemnasium analyzer:

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

    DS_REMEDIATE: "false"

To override the dependencies: [] attribute, add an override job as above, targeting this attribute:

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

  dependencies: ["build"]

Available CI/CD variables

Dependency scanning can be configured using environment variables.

Configuring dependency scanning

The following variables allow configuration of global dependency scanning settings.

CI/CD variables Description
ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE Bundle of CA certs to trust. The bundle of certificates provided here is also used by other tools during the scanning process, such as git, yarn, or npm. See Using a custom SSL CA certificate authority for more details.
DS_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS Specify the analyzers (by name) to exclude from Dependency Scanning. For more information, see Dependency Scanning Analyzers.
DS_DEFAULT_ANALYZERS (DEPRECATED - use DS_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS instead) Override the names of the official default images. For more information, see Dependency Scanning Analyzers.
DS_EXCLUDED_PATHS Exclude files and directories from the scan based on the paths. A comma-separated list of patterns. Patterns can be globs, or file or folder paths (for example, doc,spec). Parent directories also match patterns. Default: "spec, test, tests, tmp".
DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX Suffix added to the image name. If set to -fips, FIPS-enabled images are used for scan. See FIPS-enabled images for more details. Introduced in GitLab 14.10.
SECURE_ANALYZERS_PREFIX Override the name of the Docker registry providing the official default images (proxy). Read more about customizing analyzers.
SECURE_LOG_LEVEL Set the minimum logging level. Messages of this logging level or higher are output. From highest to lowest severity, the logging levels are: fatal, error, warn, info, debug. Introduced in GitLab 13.1. Default: info.

Configuring specific analyzers used by dependency scanning

The following variables are used for configuring specific analyzers (used for a specific language/framework).

CI/CD variable Analyzer Default Description
BUNDLER_AUDIT_UPDATE_DISABLED bundler-audit "false" Disable automatic updates for the bundler-audit analyzer. Use if you’re running dependency scanning in an offline, air-gapped environment.
BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_URL bundler-audit URL of the advisory database used by bundler-audit.
BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_REF_NAME bundler-audit master Git ref for the advisory database specified by BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_URL.
GEMNASIUM_DB_LOCAL_PATH gemnasium /gemnasium-db Path to local Gemnasium database.
GEMNASIUM_DB_UPDATE_DISABLED gemnasium "false" Disable automatic updates for the gemnasium-db advisory database (For usage see: examples)
GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL gemnasium Repository URL for fetching the Gemnasium database.
GEMNASIUM_DB_REF_NAME gemnasium master Branch name for remote repository database. GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL is required.
DS_REMEDIATE gemnasium "true" Enable automatic remediation of vulnerable dependencies.
GEMNASIUM_LIBRARY_SCAN_ENABLED gemnasium "true" Enable detecting vulnerabilities in vendored JavaScript libraries. For now, gemnasium leverages Retire.js to do this job. Introduced in GitLab 14.8.
DS_JAVA_VERSION gemnasium-maven 11 Version of Java. Available versions: 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
MAVEN_CLI_OPTS gemnasium-maven "-DskipTests --batch-mode" List of command line arguments that are passed to maven by the analyzer. See an example for using private repositories.
GRADLE_CLI_OPTS gemnasium-maven   List of command line arguments that are passed to gradle by the analyzer.
SBT_CLI_OPTS gemnasium-maven   List of command-line arguments that the analyzer passes to sbt.
PIP_INDEX_URL gemnasium-python Base URL of Python Package Index.
PIP_EXTRA_INDEX_URL gemnasium-python   Array of extra URLs of package indexes to use in addition to PIP_INDEX_URL. Comma-separated. Warning: Please read the following security consideration when using this environment variable.
PIP_REQUIREMENTS_FILE gemnasium-python   Pip requirements file to be scanned.
DS_PIP_VERSION gemnasium-python   Force the install of a specific pip version (example: "19.3"), otherwise the pip installed in the Docker image is used. (Introduced in GitLab 12.7)
DS_PIP_DEPENDENCY_PATH gemnasium-python   Path to load Python pip dependencies from. (Introduced in GitLab 12.2)
RETIREJS_JS_ADVISORY_DB retire.js Path or URL to retire.js JS vulnerability data file. Note that if the URL hosting the data file uses a custom SSL certificate, for example in an offline installation, you can pass the certificate in the ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE variable.
RETIREJS_NODE_ADVISORY_DB retire.js Path or URL to retire.js node vulnerability data file. Note that if the URL hosting the data file uses a custom SSL certificate, for example in an offline installation, you can pass the certificate in the ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE variable.
RETIREJS_ADVISORY_DB_INSECURE retire.js false Enable fetching remote JS and Node vulnerability data files (defined by the RETIREJS_JS_ADVISORY_DB and RETIREJS_NODE_ADVISORY_DB variables) from hosts using an insecure or self-signed SSL (TLS) certificate.

Other variables

The previous tables are not an exhaustive list of all variables that can be used. They contain all specific GitLab and analyzer variables we support and test. There are many variables, such as environment variables, that you can pass in and they will work. This is a large list, many of which we may be unaware of, and as such is not documented.

For example, to pass the non-GitLab environment variable HTTPS_PROXY to all Dependency Scanning jobs, set it as a custom CI/CD variable in your .gitlab-ci.yml file like this:

  HTTPS_PROXY: "https://squid-proxy:3128"

Alternatively we may use it in specific jobs, like Dependency Scanning:


As we have not tested all variables you may find some will work and others will not. If one does not work and you need it we suggest submitting a feature request or contributing to the code to enable it to be used.

Using a custom SSL CA certificate authority

You can use the ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE CI/CD variable to configure a custom SSL CA certificate authority. The ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE value should contain the text representation of the X.509 PEM public-key certificate. For example, to configure this value in the .gitlab-ci.yml file, use the following:

      -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
      -----END CERTIFICATE-----

The ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE value can also be configured as a custom variable in the UI, either as a file, which requires the path to the certificate, or as a variable, which requires the text representation of the certificate.

Using private Maven repositories

If your private Maven repository requires login credentials, you can use the MAVEN_CLI_OPTS CI/CD variable.

Read more on how to use private Maven repositories.

FIPS-enabled images

Introduced in GitLab 14.10.

GitLab also offers FIPS-enabled Red Hat UBI versions of the Gemnasium images. You can therefore replace standard images with FIPS-enabled images.

To use FIPS-enabled images, set the DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX to -fips, and set DS_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS to bundler-audit, retire.js to exclude the analyzers that don’t support FIPS.

  DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX: "-fips"
  DS_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS: "bundler-audit, retire.js"

If you want to execute bundler-audit or retire.js in your project pipeline, you can override the Gemnasium scanning jobs, and set DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX to -fips only for those jobs.

    DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX: "-fips"

    DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX: "-fips"

    DS_IMAGE_SUFFIX: "-fips"

Interacting with the vulnerabilities

Once a vulnerability is found, you can interact with it. Read more on how to address the vulnerabilities.

Solutions for vulnerabilities

Some vulnerabilities can be fixed by applying the solution that GitLab automatically generates. Read more about the solutions for vulnerabilities.

Security Dashboard

The Security Dashboard is a good place to get an overview of all the security vulnerabilities in your groups, projects and pipelines. Read more about the Security Dashboard.

Vulnerabilities database update

For more information about the vulnerabilities database update, see the maintenance table.

Dependency List

An additional benefit of dependency scanning is the ability to view your project’s dependencies and their known vulnerabilities. Read more about the Dependency List.

Reports JSON format

The dependency scanning tool emits a JSON report file. For more information, see the schema for this report.

Here’s an example dependency scanning report:

  "version": "2.0",
  "vulnerabilities": [
      "id": "51e83874-0ff6-4677-a4c5-249060554eae",
      "category": "dependency_scanning",
      "name": "Regular Expression Denial of Service",
      "message": "Regular Expression Denial of Service in debug",
      "description": "The debug module is vulnerable to regular expression denial of service when untrusted user input is passed into the `o` formatter. It takes around 50k characters to block for 2 seconds making this a low severity issue.",
      "severity": "Unknown",
      "solution": "Upgrade to latest versions.",
      "scanner": {
        "id": "gemnasium",
        "name": "Gemnasium"
      "location": {
        "file": "yarn.lock",
        "dependency": {
          "package": {
            "name": "debug"
          "version": "1.0.5"
      "identifiers": [
          "type": "gemnasium",
          "name": "Gemnasium-37283ed4-0380-40d7-ada7-2d994afcc62a",
          "value": "37283ed4-0380-40d7-ada7-2d994afcc62a",
          "url": ""
      "links": [
          "url": ""
          "url": ""
          "url": ""
      "id": "5d681b13-e8fa-4668-957e-8d88f932ddc7",
      "category": "dependency_scanning",
      "name": "Authentication bypass via incorrect DOM traversal and canonicalization",
      "message": "Authentication bypass via incorrect DOM traversal and canonicalization in saml2-js",
      "description": "Some XML DOM traversal and canonicalization APIs may be inconsistent in handling of comments within XML nodes. Incorrect use of these APIs by some SAML libraries results in incorrect parsing of the inner text of XML nodes such that any inner text after the comment is lost prior to cryptographically signing the SAML message. Text after the comment, therefore, has no impact on the signature on the SAML message.\r\n\r\nA remote attacker can modify SAML content for a SAML service provider without invalidating the cryptographic signature, which may allow attackers to bypass primary authentication for the affected SAML service provider.",
      "severity": "Unknown",
      "solution": "Upgrade to fixed version.\r\n",
      "scanner": {
        "id": "gemnasium",
        "name": "Gemnasium"
      "location": {
        "file": "yarn.lock",
        "dependency": {
          "package": {
            "name": "saml2-js"
          "version": "1.5.0"
      "identifiers": [
          "type": "gemnasium",
          "name": "Gemnasium-9952e574-7b5b-46fa-a270-aeb694198a98",
          "value": "9952e574-7b5b-46fa-a270-aeb694198a98",
          "url": ""
          "type": "cve",
          "name": "CVE-2017-11429",
          "value": "CVE-2017-11429",
          "url": ""
      "links": [
          "url": ""
          "url": ""
          "url": ""
  "remediations": [
      "fixes": [
          "id": "5d681b13-e8fa-4668-957e-8d88f932ddc7",
      "summary": "Upgrade saml2-js",
      "diff": "ZGlmZiAtLWdpdCBhL...OR0d1ZUc2THh3UT09Cg==" // some content is omitted for brevity

CycloneDX Software Bill of Materials

Introduced in GitLab 14.8 in Beta.

In addition to the JSON report file, the Gemnasium Dependency Scanning tool outputs a CycloneDX Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for each supported lock or build file it detects. These CycloneDX SBOMs are named cyclonedx-<package-type>-<package-manager>.json, and are saved in the same directory as the detected lock or build files.

For example, if your project has the following structure:

├── ruby-project/
│   └── Gemfile.lock
├── ruby-project-2/
│   └── Gemfile.lock
├── php-project/
│   └── composer.lock
└── go-project/
    └── go.sum

Then the Gemnasium scanner generates the following CycloneDX SBOMs:

├── ruby-project/
│   ├── Gemfile.lock
│   └── cyclonedx-gem-bundler.json
├── ruby-project-2/
│   ├── Gemfile.lock
│   └── cyclonedx-gem-bundler.json
├── php-project/
│   ├── composer.lock
│   └── cyclonedx-packagist-composer.json
└── go-project/
    ├── go.sum
    └── cyclonedx-go-go.json

The CycloneDX SBOMs can be downloaded the same way as other job artifacts.

Merging multiple CycloneDX SBOMs

You can use a CI/CD job to merge multiple CycloneDX SBOMs into a single SBOM. For example:

  - test
  - merge-cyclonedx-sboms

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

merge cyclonedx sboms:
  stage: merge-cyclonedx-sboms
  image: alpine:latest
    - wget -O /usr/local/bin/cyclonedx-cli
    - chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/cyclonedx-cli
    - apk --update add --no-cache icu-dev libstdc++
    - find * -name "cyclonedx-*.json" -exec cyclonedx-cli merge --input-files {} --output-file cyclonedx-all.json +
      - cyclonedx-all.json

GitLab uses CycloneDX Properties to store implementation-specific details in the metadata of each CycloneDX SBOM, such as the location of build and lock files. If multiple CycloneDX SBOMs are merged together, this information is removed from the resulting merged file.

CycloneDX SBOMs are a Beta feature, and the reports are subject to change during the beta period. Do not build integrations that rely on the format of these SBOMs staying consistent, as the format might change before the feature is made generally available.

Versioning and release process

Please check the Release Process documentation.

Contributing to the vulnerability database

You can search the gemnasium-db project to find a vulnerability in the GitLab Advisory Database. You can also submit new vulnerabilities.

Running dependency scanning in an offline environment

For self-managed GitLab instances in an environment with limited, restricted, or intermittent access to external resources through the internet, some adjustments are required for dependency scanning jobs to run successfully. For more information, see Offline environments.

Requirements for offline dependency scanning

Here are the requirements for using dependency scanning in an offline environment:

  • GitLab Runner with the docker or kubernetes executor.
  • Docker Container Registry with locally available copies of dependency scanning analyzer images.
  • If you have a limited access environment you need to allow access, such as using a proxy, to the advisory database: If you are unable to permit access to you must host an offline copy of this git repository and set the GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL CI/CD variable to the URL of this repository. For more information on configuration variables, see Dependency Scanning.

    This advisory database is constantly being updated, so you must periodically sync your local copy with GitLab.

  • Only if scanning Ruby projects: Host an offline Git copy of the advisory database.
  • Only if scanning npm/yarn projects: Host an offline copy of the retire.js node and js advisory databases.

Note that GitLab Runner has a default pull policy of always, meaning the runner tries to pull Docker images from the GitLab container registry even if a local copy is available. The GitLab Runner pull_policy can be set to if-not-present in an offline environment if you prefer using only locally available Docker images. However, we recommend keeping the pull policy setting to always if not in an offline environment, as this enables the use of updated scanners in your CI/CD pipelines.

Make GitLab dependency scanning analyzer images available inside your Docker registry

For dependency scanning with all supported languages and frameworks, import the following default dependency scanning analyzer images from into your local Docker container registry:

The process for importing Docker images into a local offline Docker registry depends on your network security policy. Please consult your IT staff to find an accepted and approved process by which external resources can be imported or temporarily accessed. These scanners are periodically updated with new definitions, and you may be able to make occasional updates on your own.

For details on saving and transporting Docker images as a file, see Docker’s documentation on docker save, docker load, docker export, and docker import.

Support for Custom Certificate Authorities

Support for custom certificate authorities was introduced in the following versions.

Analyzer Version
gemnasium v2.8.0
gemnasium-maven v2.9.0
gemnasium-python v2.7.0
retire.js v2.4.0
bundler-audit v2.4.0

Set dependency scanning CI/CD job variables to use local dependency scanning analyzers

Add the following configuration to your .gitlab-ci.yml file. You must change the value of SECURE_ANALYZERS_PREFIX to refer to your local Docker container registry. You must also change the value of GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL to the location of your offline Git copy of the gemnasium-db advisory database:

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml


See explanations of the variables above in the configuration section.

Specific settings for languages and package managers

See the following sections for configuring specific languages and package managers.

JavaScript (npm and yarn) projects

Add the following to the variables section of .gitlab-ci.yml:


Ruby (gem) projects

Add the following to the variables section of .gitlab-ci.yml:


Python (pip)

If you need to install Python packages before the analyzer runs, you should use pip install --user in the before_script of the scanning job. The --user flag causes project dependencies to be installed in the user directory. If you do not pass the --user option, packages are installed globally, and they are not scanned and don’t show up when listing project dependencies.

Python (setuptools)

If you need to install Python packages before the analyzer runs, you should use python install --user in the before_script of the scanning job. The --user flag causes project dependencies to be installed in the user directory. If you do not pass the --user option, packages are installed globally, and they are not scanned and don’t show up when listing project dependencies.

When using self-signed certificates for your private PyPi repository, no extra job configuration (aside from the template .gitlab-ci.yml above) is needed. However, you must update your to ensure that it can reach your private repository. Here is an example configuration:

  1. Update to create a dependency_links attribute pointing at your private repository for each dependency in the install_requires list:

  2. Fetch the certificate from your repository URL and add it to the project:

    echo -n | openssl s_client -connect | sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p' > internal.crt
  3. Point at the newly downloaded certificate:

    import setuptools.ssl_support
    setuptools.ssl_support.cert_paths = ['internal.crt']

Hosting a copy of the gemnasium_db advisory database

The gemnasium_db Git repository is used by gemnasium, gemnasium-maven, and gemnasium-python as the source of vulnerability data. This repository updates at scan time to fetch the latest advisories. However, due to a restricted networking environment, running this update is sometimes not possible. In this case, a user can do one of the following:

Host a copy of the advisory database

If gemnasium-db is not reachable from within the environment, the user can host their own Git copy. Then the analyzer can be instructed to update the database from the user’s copy by using GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL:



Use a local clone

If a hosted copy is not possible, then the user can clone gemnasium-db or create an archive before the scan and point the analyzer to the directory (using: GEMNASIUM_DB_LOCAL_PATH). Turn off the analyzer’s self-update mechanism (using: GEMNASIUM_DB_UPDATE_DISABLED). In this example, the database directory is created in the before_script, before the gemnasium analyzer’s scan job:


    GEMNASIUM_DB_LOCAL_PATH: ./gemnasium-db-local
    - tar -xzf gemnasium_db.tar.gz -C $GEMNASIUM_DB_LOCAL_PATH


We recommend that you use the most recent version of all containers, and the most recent supported version of all package managers and languages. Using previous versions carries an increased security risk because unsupported versions may no longer benefit from active security reporting and backporting of security fixes.

Python projects

Extra care needs to be taken when using the PIP_EXTRA_INDEX_URL environment variable due to a possible exploit documented by CVE-2018-20225:

An issue was discovered in pip (all versions) because it installs the version with the highest version number, even if the user had intended to obtain a private package from a private index. This only affects use of the PIP_EXTRA_INDEX_URL option, and exploitation requires that the package does not already exist in the public index (and thus the attacker can put the package there with an arbitrary version number).


Referencing local dependencies using a path in JavaScript projects

The Retire.js analyzer doesn’t support dependency references made with local paths in the package.json of JavaScript projects. The dependency scan outputs the following error for such references:

ERROR: Could not find dependencies: <dependency-name>. You may need to run npm install

As a workaround, add the retire.js analyzer to DS_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS.


Working around missing support for certain languages or package managers

As noted in the “Supported languages” section some dependency definition files are not yet supported. However, Dependency Scanning can be achieved if the language, a package manager, or a third-party tool can convert the definition file into a supported format.

Generally, the approach is the following:

  1. Define a dedicated converter job in your .gitlab-ci.yml file. Use a suitable Docker image, script, or both to facilitate the conversion.
  2. Let that job upload the converted, supported file as an artifact.
  3. Add dependencies: [<your-converter-job>] to your dependency_scanning job to make use of the converted definitions files.

For example, the unsupported poetry.lock file can be converted to the supported requirements.txt as follows.

  - template: Security/Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

  - test

  PIP_REQUIREMENTS_FILE: "requirements-converted.txt"

  # Work around
    - pip install poetry  # Or via another method:
    - poetry export --output="$PIP_REQUIREMENTS_FILE"
    - rm poetry.lock pyproject.toml

Error response from daemon: error processing tar file: docker-tar: relocation error

This error occurs when the Docker version that runs the dependency scanning job is 19.03.0. Consider updating to Docker 19.03.1 or greater. Older versions are not affected. Read more in this issue.

Getting warning message gl-dependency-scanning-report.json: no matching files

For information on this, see the general Application Security troubleshooting section.

Limitation when using rules:exists

The dependency scanning CI template uses the rules:exists syntax. This directive is limited to 10000 checks and always returns true after reaching this number. Because of this, and depending on the number of files in your repository, a dependency scanning job might be triggered even if the scanner doesn’t support your project.

Issues building projects with npm or yarn packages relying on Python 2

Python 2 was removed from the retire.js analyzer in GitLab 13.7 (analyzer version 2.10.1). Projects using packages with a dependency on this version of Python should use retire.js version 2.10.0 or lower (for example,

Error: dependency_scanning is used for configuration only, and its script should not be executed

For information on this, see the GitLab Secure troubleshooting section.

Import multiple certificates for Java-based projects

The gemnasium-maven analyzer reads the contents of the ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE variable using keytool, which imports either a single certificate or a certificate chain. Multiple unrelated certificates are ignored and only the first one is imported by keytool.

To add multiple unrelated certificates to the analyzer, you can declare a before_script such as this in the definition of the gemnasium-maven-dependency_scanning job:

    - . $HOME/.bashrc # make the java tools available to the script
    - OIFS="$IFS"; IFS=""; echo $ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE > multi.pem; IFS="$OIFS" # write ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE variable to a PEM file
    - csplit -z --digits=2 --prefix=cert multi.pem "/-----END CERTIFICATE-----/+1" "{*}" # split the file into individual certificates
    - for i in `ls cert*`; do keytool -v -importcert -alias "custom-cert-$i" -file $i -trustcacerts -noprompt -storepass changeit -keystore /opt/asdf/installs/java/adoptopenjdk-11.0.7+10.1/lib/security/cacerts 1>/dev/null 2>&1 || true; done # import each certificate using keytool (note the keystore location is related to the Java version being used and should be changed accordingly for other versions)
    - unset ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE # unset the variable so that the analyzer doesn't duplicate the import

Dependency Scanning job fails with message strconv.ParseUint: parsing "0.0": invalid syntax

Invoking Docker-in-Docker is the likely cause of this error. Docker-in-Docker is:

  • Disabled by default in GitLab 13.0 and later.
  • Unsupported from GitLab 13.4 and later.

To fix this error, disable Docker-in-Docker for dependency scanning. Individual <analyzer-name>-dependency_scanning jobs are created for each analyzer that runs in your CI/CD pipeline.

  - template: Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml


Message <file> does not exist in <commit SHA>

When the Location of a dependency in a file is shown, the path in the link goes to a specific Git SHA.

If the lock file that our dependency scanning tools reviewed was cached, however, selecting that link redirects you to the repository root, with the message: <file> does not exist in <commit SHA>.

The lock file is cached during the build phase and passed to the dependency scanning job before the scan occurs. Because the cache is downloaded before the analyzer run occurs, the existence of a lock file in the CI_BUILDS_DIR directory triggers the dependency scanning job.

We recommend committing the lock files, which prevents this warning.

I no longer get the latest Docker image after setting DS_MAJOR_VERSION or DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE

If you have manually set DS_MAJOR_VERSION or DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE for specific reasons, and now must update your configuration to again get the latest patched versions of our analyzers, edit your gitlab-ci.yml file and either:

  • Set your DS_MAJOR_VERSION to match the latest version as seen in our current Dependency Scanning template.
  • If you hardcoded the DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE variable directly, change it to match the latest line as found in our current Dependency Scanning template. The line number will vary depending on which scanning job you edited.

    For example, currently the gemnasium-maven-dependency_scanning job pulls the latest gemnasium-maven Docker image because DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE is set to "$SECURE_ANALYZERS_PREFIX/gemnasium-maven:$DS_MAJOR_VERSION".

Dependency Scanning of setuptools project fails with use_2to3 is invalid error

Support for 2to3 was removed in setuptools version v58.0.0. Dependency Scanning (running python 3.9) uses setuptools version 58.1.0+, which doesn’t support 2to3. Therefore, a setuptools dependency relying on lib2to3 will fail with this message:

error in <dependency name> setup command: use_2to3 is invalid

To work around this error, downgrade the analyzer’s version of setuptools (e.g. v57.5.0):

    - pip install setuptools==57.5.0