SAST analyzers

Tier: Free, Premium, Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated
  • Moved from GitLab Ultimate to GitLab Free in 13.3.

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) uses analyzers to detect vulnerabilities in source code. Each analyzer is a wrapper around a scanner, a third-party code analysis tool.

The analyzers are published as Docker images that SAST uses to launch dedicated containers for each analysis. We recommend a minimum of 4 GB RAM to ensure consistent performance of the analyzers.

SAST default images are maintained by GitLab, but you can also integrate your own custom image.

For each scanner, an analyzer:

  • Exposes its detection logic.
  • Handles its execution.
  • Converts its output to a standard format.

Official analyzers

SAST supports the following official analyzers:

  • kubesec (Kubesec)
  • pmd-apex (PMD (Apex only))
  • semgrep (Semgrep)
  • sobelow (Sobelow (Elixir Phoenix))
  • spotbugs (SpotBugs with the Find Sec Bugs plugin (Ant, Gradle and wrapper, Grails, Maven and wrapper, SBT))

The following GitLab analyzers have reached End of Support status and do not receive updates. They were replaced by the Semgrep-based analyzer with GitLab-managed rules.

GitLab Advanced SAST analyzer

Tier: Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated Status: Experiment

The GitLab Advanced SAST analyzer offers a broader and more accurate static analysis for Python, particularly by providing cross-function and cross-file taint analysis.

It is not enabled by default. To enable it, please follow the instructions on the GitLab Advanced SAST page.

SAST analyzer features

For an analyzer to be considered generally available, it is expected to minimally support the following features:

Post analyzers

Tier: Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated

Post analyzers enrich the report output by an analyzer. A post analyzer doesn’t modify report content directly. Instead, it enhances the results with additional properties, including:

  • CWEs.
  • Location tracking fields.

Transition to Semgrep-based scanning

SAST includes a Semgrep-based analyzer that covers multiple languages. GitLab maintains the analyzer and writes detection rules for it. These rules replace language-specific analyzers that were used in previous releases.

Vulnerability translation

The Vulnerability Management system automatically moves vulnerabilities from the old analyzer to a new Semgrep-based finding when possible. When this happens, the system combines the vulnerabilities from each analyzer into a single record.

But, vulnerabilities may not match up if:

  • The new Semgrep-based rule detects the vulnerability in a different location, or in a different way, than the old analyzer did.
  • You previously disabled SAST analzyers. This can interfere with automatic translation by preventing necessary identifiers from being recorded for each vulnerability.

If a vulnerability doesn’t match:

  • The original vulnerability is marked as “no longer detected” in the Vulnerability Report.
  • A new vulnerability is then created based on the Semgrep-based finding.

Customize analyzers

Use CI/CD variables in your .gitlab-ci.yml file to customize the behavior of your analyzers.

Use a custom Docker mirror

You can use a custom Docker registry, instead of the GitLab registry, to host the analyzers’ images.


  • The custom Docker registry must provide images for all the official analyzers.
This variable affects all Secure analyzers, not just the analyzers for SAST.

To have GitLab download the analyzers’ images from a custom Docker registry, define the prefix with the SECURE_ANALYZERS_PREFIX CI/CD variable.

For example, the following instructs SAST to pull my-docker-registry/gitlab-images/semgrep instead of

  - template: Jobs/SAST.gitlab-ci.yml

  SECURE_ANALYZERS_PREFIX: my-docker-registry/gitlab-images

Disable all default analyzers

You can disable all default SAST analyzers, leaving only custom analyzers enabled.

To disable all default analyzers, set the CI/CD variable SAST_DISABLED to "true" in your .gitlab-ci.yml file.


  - template: Jobs/SAST.gitlab-ci.yml


Disable specific default analyzers

Analyzers are run automatically according to the source code languages detected. However, you can disable select analyzers.

To disable select analyzers, set the CI/CD variable SAST_EXCLUDED_ANALYZERS to a comma-delimited string listing the analyzers that you want to prevent running.

For example, to disable the spotbugs analyzer:

  - template: Jobs/SAST.gitlab-ci.yml


Custom analyzers

You can provide your own analyzers by defining jobs in your CI/CD configuration. For consistency with the default analyzers, you should add the suffix -sast to your custom SAST jobs.

For more details on integrating a custom security scanner into GitLab, see Security Scanner Integration.

Example custom analyzer

This example shows how to add a scanning job that’s based on the Docker image my-docker-registry/analyzers/csharp. It runs the script /analyzer run and outputs a SAST report gl-sast-report.json.

Define the following in your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

    name: "my-docker-registry/analyzers/csharp"
    - /analyzer run
      sast: gl-sast-report.json