Start Free
10.6 | Analyzing source code | Scanners | SonarScanner CLI

Was this page helpful?

SonarScanner CLI

On this page

The SonarScanner CLI is the scanner to use when there is no specific scanner for your build system. 

The SonarScanner does not yet officially support ARM architecture. Still, early adopters reported it is working fine. If you encounter problems, don't hesitate to share your experience with us on the SonarQube or SonarCloud Community Forum but keep in mind that there is no support at this time.

Configuring your project

Create a configuration file in your project's root directory called

# must be unique in a given SonarQube instance

# --- optional properties ---

# defaults to project key
#sonar.projectName=My project
# defaults to 'not provided'
# Path is relative to the file. Defaults to .
# Encoding of the source code. Default is default system encoding

Running SonarScanner CLI from the zip file

To run SonarScanner CLI from the zip file, follow these steps:

  1. Expand the downloaded file into the directory of your choice. We'll refer to it as <INSTALL_DIRECTORY> in the next steps.
  2. Update the global settings to point to your SonarQube server by editing $install_directory/conf/

    #----- Default SonarQube server
  3. Add the <INSTALL_DIRECTORY>/bin directory to your path.
  4. Verify your installation by opening a new shell and executing the command sonar-scanner -h, or sonar-scanner.bat -h on Windows. You should get an output like this:
    usage: sonar-scanner [options]

    -D,--define <arg>     Define property
    -h,--help             Display help information
    -v,--version          Display version information
    -X,--debug            Produce execution debug output

    If you need more debug information, you can add one of the following to your command line: -X--verbose, or -Dsonar.verbose=true.
  5. Run the following command from the project base directory to launch analysis and pass your authentication token: sonar-scanner -Dsonar.token=myAuthenticationToken

    Alternatively, instead of passing the token in your command line, you can create the SONAR_TOKEN environment variable and set the token as its value before you launch the analysis.

Running SonarScanner CLI from the Docker image

To scan using the SonarScanner CLI Docker image, use the following command:

docker run \
    --rm \
    -e SONAR_HOST_URL="http://${SONARQUBE_URL}"  \
    -v "${YOUR_REPO}:/usr/src" \
Caching scanner files

To prevent SonarScanner from re-downloading language analyzers each time you run a scan, you can mount a directory where the scanner stores the downloads so that the downloads are reused between scanner runs. On some CI systems, you also need to add this directory to your CI cache configuration.

The following command will store and use cache between runs:

docker run \
    --rm \
    -v ${YOUR_CACHE_DIR}:/opt/sonar-scanner/.sonar/cache \
    -v ${YOUR_REPO}:/usr/src \
    -e SONAR_HOST_URL="http://${SONARQUBE_URL}" \

You can also change the location of where the scanner puts the downloads with the SONAR_USER_HOME environment variable.

Scanning C, C++, or Objective-C projects

Scanning projects that contain C, C++, or Objective-C code requires some additional analysis steps. You can find full details on the C/C++/Objective-C language page.

Sample projects

To help you get started, simple project samples are available for most languages on GitHub. They can be browsed or downloaded. You'll find them filed under sonarqube-scanner/src.

Alternatives to

If a file cannot be created in the root directory of the project, there are several alternatives:

  • The properties can be specified directly through the command line. Example:
    sonar-scanner -Dsonar.projectKey=myproject -Dsonar.sources=src1
  • The property project.settings can be used to specify the path to the project configuration file (this option is incompatible with the sonar.projectBaseDir property). Example:
    sonar-scanner -Dproject.settings=../
  • The root folder of the project to analyze can be set through the sonar.projectBaseDir property since SonarScanner CLI 2.4. This folder must contain a file if sonar.projectKey is not specified on the command line. Additional analysis parameters can be defined in this project configuration file or through command-line parameters.

Alternate analysis directory

If the files to be analyzed are not in the directory where the analysis starts from, use the sonar.projectBaseDir property to move analysis to a different directory. E.g. analysis begins from jenkins/jobs/myjob/workspace but the files to be analyzed are in ftpdrop/cobol/project1. This is configured in as follows:


Advanced configuration

If your SonarQube server is secured

If your SonarQube server is configured with HTTPS and a self-signed certificate then you must add the self-signed certificate to the trusted CA certificates of the SonarScanner. In addition, if mutual TLS is used then you must define the access to the client certificate at the SonarScanner level.

See Managing the TLS certificates on the client side.


Java heap space error or java.lang.OutOfMemoryError

Increase the memory via the SONAR_SCANNER_JAVA_OPTS environment variable (from SonarScanner CLI version 6.0, or SONAR_SCANNER_OPTS, otherwise) when running the scanner from a zip file:


In Windows environments, avoid the double quotes, since they get misinterpreted, and combine the two parameters into a single one.


Unsupported major.minor version
Install the last version of SonarScanner CLI (from version 6.0, no JRE installation is required). Otherwise, upgrade the version of Java being used for analysis or use one of the native package (that embed its own Java runtime).

Property missing: 'sonar.cs.analyzer.projectOutPaths'. No protobuf files will be loaded for this project.
Scanner CLI is not able to analyze .NET projects. Please, use the SonarScanner for .NET. If you are running the SonarScanner for .NET, ensure that you are not hitting a known limitation.

© 2008-2024 SonarSource SA. All rights reserved. SONAR, SONARSOURCE, SONARLINT, SONARQUBE, SONARCLOUD, and CLEAN AS YOU CODE are trademarks of SonarSource SA.

Creative Commons License