Skip to main content

This version of GitHub Enterprise Server will be discontinued on 2024-03-07. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise Server. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

Specifying command options in a CodeQL configuration file

You can save default command options in a CodeQL configuration file.

Who can use this feature?

GitHub CodeQL is licensed on a per-user basis upon installation. You can use CodeQL only for certain tasks under the license restrictions. For more information, see "About the CodeQL CLI."

If you have a GitHub Advanced Security license, you can use CodeQL for automated analysis, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. For more information, see "About GitHub Advanced Security."

About specifying command options in a CodeQL configuration file

You can save default or frequently used options for your commands in a per-user configuration file.

You can specify CodeQL CLI command options in two ways:

  • Directly in the command line, using the appropriate flag.
  • In a configuration (or config) file that CodeQL scans for relevant options each time a command is executed.

For options that are likely to change each time you execute a command, specifying the value on the command line is the most convenient way of passing the information to CodeQL. Saving options in a config file is a good way to specify options you use frequently. It’s also a good way to add custom CodeQL packs that you use regularly to your search path.

Using a CodeQL configuration file

You need to save the config file under your home (Linux and macOS) or user profile (Windows) directory in the .config/codeql/ subdirectory. For example, $HOME/.config/codeql/config.

The syntax for specifying options is as follows:

<command> <subcommand> <option> <value>

To apply the same options to more than one command you can:

  • Omit the <subcommand>, which will specify the option for every <subcommand> to which it’s relevant.
  • Omit both <command> and <subcommand>, which will globally specify the option for every <command> and <subcommand> to which it’s relevant.


  • config files only accept spaces between option flags and values—CodeQL will throw an error if you use = to specify an option value.
  • If you specify an option in the command line, this overrides the config value defined for that option.
  • If you want to specify more than one option for a <command>, <subcommand> or globally, use one line per option.


  • To output all analysis results generated by codeql database analyze as CSV format, you would specify:

    database analyze --format csv

    Here, you have to specify the command and subcommand to prevent any of the low-level commands that are executed during database analyze being passed the same --format option.

  • To define the RAM (4096 MB) and number of threads (4) to use when running CodeQL commands, specify the following, on separate lines:

    --ram 4096
    --threads 4
  • To globally specify a directory for CodeQL to scan for CodeQL packs (which is not a sibling of the installation directory), use:

    --search-path <path-to-directory>