The Codeowners Validator project validates the GitHub CODEOWNERS file based on specified checks.

Programming language: Go
License: Apache License 2.0
Tags: Command Line     Go     Github     Validator     Codeowners     GitHub Action    

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Ensures the correctness of your CODEOWNERS file.

Codeowners Validator

The Codeowners Validator project validates the GitHub CODEOWNERS file based on specified checks. It supports public and private GitHub repositories and also GitHub Enterprise installations.




export GH_TOKEN=<your_token>
docker run --rm -v $(pwd):/repo -w /repo \
  -e EXPERIMENTAL_CHECKS="notowned" \
  -e OWNER_CHECKER_REPOSITORY="org-name/rep-name" \

Command line

export GH_TOKEN=<your_token>
    EXPERIMENTAL_CHECKS="notowned" \
    OWNER_CHECKER_REPOSITORY="org-name/rep-name" \

GitHub Action

- uses: mszostok/[email protected]
    checks: "files,owners,duppatterns,syntax"
    experimental_checks: "notowned,avoid-shadowing"
    # GitHub access token is required only if the `owners` check is enabled
    github_access_token: "${{ secrets.OWNERS_VALIDATOR_GITHUB_SECRET }}"

Check [this](./docs/gh-action.md) document for more information about GitHub Action.

Check the Configuration section for more info on how to enable and configure given checks.


It's highly recommended to install a fixed version of codeowners-validator. Releases are available on the releases page.

macOS & Linux

codeowners-validator is available via Homebrew.


Install Upgrade
brew install mszostok/tap/codeowners-validator brew upgrade mszostok/tap/codeowners-validator

Install script

# binary installed into ./bin/
curl -sfL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mszostok/codeowners-validator/main/install.sh | sh -s v0.7.4

# binary installed into $(go env GOPATH)/bin/codeowners-validator
curl -sfL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mszostok/codeowners-validator/main/install.sh | sh -s -- -b $(go env GOPATH)/bin v0.7.4

# In alpine linux (as it does not come with curl by default)
wget -O - -q https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mszostok/codeowners-validator/main/install.sh | sh -s v0.7.4

# Print version. Add `--oshort` to print just the version number.
codeowners-validator version

You can also download latest version from release page manually.

From Sources

<!--- You can install codeowners-validator with go install go.szostok.io/[email protected]. ---> You can install codeowners-validator with go install github.com/mszostok/[email protected].

NOTE: please use Go 1.16 or greater.

This will put codeowners-validator in $(go env GOPATH)/bin.


The following checks are enabled by default:

Name Description
duppatterns [Duplicated Pattern Checker] Reports if CODEOWNERS file contain duplicated lines with the same file pattern.
files [File Exist Checker] Reports if CODEOWNERS file contain lines with the file pattern that do not exist in a given repository.
owners [Valid Owner Checker] Reports if CODEOWNERS file contain invalid owners definition. Allowed owner syntax: @username, @org/team-name or [email protected] source: https://help.github.com/articles/about-code-owners/#codeowners-syntax. Checks:     1. Check if the owner's definition is valid (is either a GitHub user name, an organization team name or an email address).     2. Check if a GitHub owner has a GitHub account     3. Check if a GitHub owner is in a given organization     4. Check if an organization team exists
syntax [Valid Syntax Checker] Reports if CODEOWNERS file contain invalid syntax definition. It is imported as:     "If any line in your CODEOWNERS file contains invalid syntax, the file will not be detected    and will not be used to request reviews. Invalid syntax includes inline comments     and user or team names that do not exist on GitHub." source: https://help.github.com/articles/about-code-owners/#codeowners-syntax.

The experimental checks are disabled by default:

Name Description
notowned [Not Owned File Checker] Reports if a given repository contain files that do not have specified owners in CODEOWNERS file.
avoid-shadowing [Avoid Shadowing Checker] Reports if entries go from least specific to most specific. Otherwise, earlier entries are completely ignored. For example:     # First entry     /build/logs/ @octocat      # Shadows      * @s1      /b*/logs @s5      # OK      /b*/other @o1      /script/* @o2

To enable experimental check set EXPERIMENTAL_CHECKS=notowned environment variable.

Check the Configuration section for more info on how to enable and configure given checks.


Use the following environment variables to configure the application:

Name Default Description
REPOSITORY_PATH * Path to your repository on your local machine.
GITHUB_ACCESS_TOKEN GitHub access token. Instruction for creating a token can be found [here](./docs/gh-auth.md). If not provided, the owners validating functionality may not work properly. For example, you may reach the API calls quota or, if you are setting GitHub Enterprise base URL, an unauthorized error may occur.
GITHUB_BASE_URL https://api.github.com/ GitHub base URL for API requests. Defaults to the public GitHub API but can be set to a domain endpoint to use with GitHub Enterprise.
GITHUB_UPLOAD_URL https://uploads.github.com/ GitHub upload URL for uploading files. It is taken into account only when GITHUB_BASE_URL is also set. If only GITHUB_BASE_URL is provided, this parameter defaults to the GITHUB_BASE_URL value.
GITHUB_APP_ID Github App ID for authentication. This replaces the GITHUB_ACCESS_TOKEN. Instruction for creating a Github App can be found [here](./docs/gh-auth.md)
GITHUB_APP_INSTALLATION_ID Github App Installation ID. Required when GITHUB_APP_ID is set.
GITHUB_APP_PRIVATE_KEY Github App private key in PEM format. Required when GITHUB_APP_ID is set.
CHECKS List of checks to be executed. By default, all checks are executed. Possible values: files,owners,duppatterns,syntax.
EXPERIMENTAL_CHECKS The comma-separated list of experimental checks that should be executed. By default, all experimental checks are turned off. Possible values: notowned.
CHECK_FAILURE_LEVEL warning Defines the level on which the application should treat check issues as failures. Defaults to warning, which treats both errors and warnings as failures, and exits with error code 3. Possible values are error and warning.
OWNER_CHECKER_REPOSITORY * The owner and repository name separated by slash. For example, gh-codeowners/codeowners-samples. Used to check if GitHub owner is in the given organization.
OWNER_CHECKER_IGNORED_OWNERS @ghost The comma-separated list of owners that should not be validated. Example: "@owner1,@owner2,@org/team1,[email protected]".
OWNER_CHECKER_ALLOW_UNOWNED_PATTERNS true Specifies whether CODEOWNERS may have unowned files. For example: /infra/oncall-rotator/ @sre-team /infra/oncall-rotator/oncall-config.yml The /infra/oncall-rotator/oncall-config.yml file is not owned by anyone.
OWNER_CHECKER_OWNERS_MUST_BE_TEAMS false Specifies whether only teams are allowed as owners of files.
NOT_OWNED_CHECKER_SKIP_PATTERNS The comma-separated list of patterns that should be ignored by not-owned-checker. For example, you can specify * and as a result, the * pattern from the CODEOWNERS file will be ignored and files owned by this pattern will be reported as unowned unless a later specific pattern will match that path. It's useful because often we have default owners entry at the begging of the CODOEWNERS file, e.g. * @global-owner1 @global-owner2
NOT_OWNED_CHECKER_SUBDIRECTORIES The comma-separated list of subdirectories to check in not-owned-checker. When specified, only files in the listed subdirectories will be checked if they do not have specified owners in CODEOWNERS.
NOT_OWNED_CHECKER_TRUST_WORKSPACE false Specifies whether the repository path should be marked as safe. See: https://github.com/actions/checkout/issues/766.

* - Required

Exit status codes

Application exits with different status codes which allow you to easily distinguish between error categories.

Code Description
1 The application startup failed due to the wrong configuration or internal error.
2 The application was closed because the OS sends a termination signal (SIGINT or SIGTERM).
3 The CODEOWNERS validation failed - executed checks found some issues.


Contributions are greatly appreciated! The project follows the typical GitHub pull request model. See [CONTRIBUTING.md](CONTRIBUTING.md) for more details.


The codeowners-validator roadmap uses GitHub milestones to track the progress of the project.

They are sorted with priority. First are most important.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the codeowners-validator README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.