CodeQL is the code analysis engine developed by GitHub to automate security checks. You can analyze your code using CodeQL and display the results as code scanning alerts.
There are two main ways to use CodeQL analysis for code scanning:
- Add the CodeQL workflow to your repository. This uses the github/codeql-action to run the CodeQL CLI. For more information, see "Setting up code scanning for a repository."
- Run the CodeQL CLI directly in an external CI system and upload the results to GitHub. For more information, see "About CodeQL code scanning in your CI system ."
CodeQL treats code like data, allowing you to find potential vulnerabilities in your code with greater confidence than traditional static analyzers.
- You generate a CodeQL database to represent your codebase.
- Then you run CodeQL queries on that database to identify problems in the codebase.
- The query results are shown as code scanning alerts in GitHub AE when you use CodeQL with code scanning.
CodeQL supports both compiled and interpreted languages, and can find vulnerabilities and errors in code that's written in the supported languages.
GitHub experts, security researchers, and community contributors write and maintain the default CodeQL queries used for code scanning. The queries are regularly updated to improve analysis and reduce any false positive results. The queries are open source, so you can view and contribute to the queries in the
github/codeql repository. For more information, see CodeQL on the CodeQL website. You can also write your own queries. For more information, see "About CodeQL queries" in the CodeQL documentation.
You can run additional queries as part of your code scanning analysis.
The queries you want to run must belong to a QL pack in a repository. Queries must only depend on the standard libraries (that is, the libraries referenced by an
import LANGUAGE statement in your query), or libraries in the same QL pack as the query. For more information, see "About QL packs."