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8.9 | Project administration | Narrowing the focus

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Narrowing the focus

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If SonarQube's results aren't relevant, no one will want to use it. That's why precisely configuring what to analyze for each project is a very important step. Doing so allows you to remove noise, like the issues and duplications marked on generated code, or the issues from rules that aren't relevant for certain types of files.

SonarQube gives you several options for configuring exactly what will be analyzed. You can

  • Completely ignore some files or directories.
  • Exclude files/directories from Issues detection (specific rules or all of them) but analyze all other aspects.
  • Exclude files/directories from Duplications detection but analyze all other aspects.
  • Exclude files/directories from Coverage calculations but analyze all other aspects.

You can make these changes globally or at a project level. At the global level, the navigation path is Administration > General Settings > Analysis Scope. At the project level, the navigation path is Project Settings > General Settings > Analysis Scope.


Paths are relative to the project base directory. The following wildcards can be used:

  • * - Match zero or more characters
  • ** - Match zero or more directories
  • ? - Match a single character

Relative paths are based on the fully qualified name of the component.

ExampleMatchesDoes not match

Ignore Files

We recommend that you exclude generated code, source code from libraries, etc. There are four different ways to narrow your analysis to the source code that will be relevant to the development team. You can combine them all together to tune your analysis scope. Additionally, we automatically exclude from analysis the files described in your projects' .gitignore files. This behavior can be disabled. See sonar.scm.exclusions.disabled in the Analysis Parameters page for details.

Source Directories

Set the sonar.sources property to limit the scope of the analysis to certain directories.

File Suffixes

For most languages, you can restrict the scope of analysis to files matching a set of extensions. Go to Project Settings > General Settings > [Language] to set the File suffixes property.

Choosing Files

Your first line of defence having a well-defined set of files in your analysis is your sonar.sources value. For projects built and analyzed with Maven, Gradle, or MSBuild, this value is defined automatically with a generally thorough, yet sane value. For other projects, you want to make sure sonar.sources is set to your project sub-directory that actually contains your source files. Setting it to . will cast a wider net than most people intend.

Once you've got all the files in your analysis that you want, it's time to look at whether you have any files you'd rather leave out of your analysis, such as JavaScript libraries, and generated files. Those can be handled with Exclusions. Specifying an exclusion means that everything under your sonar.sources directory will be included in analysis except the files with paths that match your exclusion pattern.

To use exclusions to analyze everything but the specified files, go to Project Settings > General Settings > Analysis Scope > Files.

  • Source File Exclusions - to exclude source code files
  • Test File Exclusions - to exclude test files

The vast majority of needs are met simply by setting sonar.sources carefully. Most other needs are met with the addition of a few simple exclusions. In a few corner cases, it is necessary to be explicit about what's included in analysis and leave out everything else, but that is not the normal case, and setting inclusions should not be the first thing you try when configuring a new project.

To use exclusions to analyze only the specified subset(s) of files in sonar.sources, go to Project Settings > General Settings > Analysis Scope > Files.

  • Source File Inclusions
  • Test File Inclusions

You can set these properties at both the project and global levels.

See the Patterns section below for more details on the syntax to use in these inputs.

Ignore Issues

You can have SonarQube ignore issues on certain components and against certain coding rules. Go to Project Settings > General Settings > Analysis Scope > Issues.

Note that the properties below can only be set through the web interface because they are multi-valued.

Ignore Issues on Files

You can ignore all issues on files that contain a block of code matching a given regular expression.


  • Ignore all issues in files containing "@javax.annotation.Generated"

Ignore Issues in Blocks

You can ignore all issues on specific blocks of code, while continuing to scan and mark issues on the remainder of the file. Blocks to be ignored are delimited by start and end strings which can be specified by regular expressions (or plain strings).


  • If the first regular expression is found but not the second one, the end of the file is considered to be the end of the block.
  • Regular expressions are not matched on a multi-line basis.

Ignore Issues on Multiple Criteria

You can ignore issues on certain components and for certain coding rules. To list a specific rule, use the fully qualified rule ID.


  • Ignore all issues on all files
    KEY = *
    PATH = **/*
  • Ignore all issues on COBOL program "bank/ZTR00021.cbl"
    KEY = *
    PATH = bank/ZTR00021.cbl
  • Ignore all issues on classes located directly in the Java package "", but not in its sub-packages
    KEY = *
    PATH = com/foo/*
  • Ignore all issues against coding rule "cpp:Union" on files in the directory "object" and its sub-directories
    KEY = cpp:Union
    PATH = object/**/*

Restrict Scope of Coding Rules

You can restrict the application of a rule to only certain components, ignoring all others.


  • Only check the rule "Magic Number" on "Bean" objects and not on anything else
    KEY =
    PATH = **/*
  • Only check the rule "Prevent GO TO statement from transferring control outside current module on COBOL programs" located in the directories "bank/creditcard" and "bank/bankcard". This requires two criteria to define it:
    KEY #1 = cobol:COBOL.GotoTransferControlOutsideCurrentModuleCheck
    PATH #1 = bank/creditcard/**/*
    KEY #2 = cobol:COBOL.GotoTransferControlOutsideCurrentModuleCheck
    PATH #2 = bank/bankcard/**/*

Ignore Duplications

You can prevent some files from being checked for duplications.

To do so, go to Project Settings > General Settings > Analysis Scope > Duplications and set the Duplication Exclusions property. See the Patterns section for more details on the syntax.

Ignore Code Coverage

You can prevent some files from being taken into account for code coverage by unit tests.

To do so, go to Project Settings > General Settings > Analysis Scope > Code Coverage and set the Coverage Exclusions property. See the Patterns section for more details on the syntax.

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