Gives criticality score for an open source project Saturday, Dec 12, 2020


Open Source Project Criticality Score (Beta)

This project is maintained by members of the Securing Critical Projects WG.


  1. Generate a criticality score for every open source project.

  2. Create a list of critical projects that the open source community depends on.

  3. Use this data to proactively improve the security posture of these critical projects.

Criticality Score

A project’s criticality score defines the influence and importance of a project. It is a number between 0 (least-critical) and 1 (most-critical). It is based on the following algorithm by Rob Pike:

We use the following parameters to derive the criticality score for an open source project:

Parameter (Si) Weight (αi) Max threshold (Ti) Description
created_since 1 120 Time since the project was created (in months)
updated_since -1 120 Time since the project was last updated (in months)
contributor_count 2 5000 Count of project contributors (with commits)
org_count 1 10 Count of distinct organizations that contributors belong to
commit_frequency 1 1000 Average number of commits per week in the last year
recent_releases_count 0.5 26 Number of releases in the last year
closed_issues_count 0.5 5000 Number of issues closed in the last 90 days
updated_issues_count 0.5 5000 Number of issues updated in the last 90 days
comment_frequency 1 15 Average number of comments per issue in the last 90 days
dependents_count 2 500000 Number of project mentions in the commit messages


The program only requires one argument to run, the name of the repo:

$ pip3 install criticality-score

$ criticality_score --repo
name: kubernetes
language: Go
created_since: 79
updated_since: 0
contributor_count: 3664
org_count: 5
commit_frequency: 102.7
recent_releases_count: 76
closed_issues_count: 2906
updated_issues_count: 5136
comment_frequency: 5.7
dependents_count: 407254
criticality_score: 0.9862

You can add your own parameters to the criticality score calculation. For example, you can add internal project usage data to re-adjust the project’s criticality score for your prioritization needs. This can be done by adding the --params <param1_value>:<param1_weight>:<param1_max_threshold> ... argument on the command line.


Before running criticality score, you need to create a GitHub access token and set it in environment variable GITHUB_AUTH_TOKEN. This helps to avoid the GitHub’s api rate limits with unauthenticated requests.

# For posix platforms, e.g. linux, mac:
export GITHUB_AUTH_TOKEN=<your access token>

# For windows:
set GITHUB_AUTH_TOKEN=<your access token>

Formatting Results

There are three formats currently: default, json, and csv. Others may be added in the future.

These may be specified with the --format flag.

Public Data

If you’re only interested in seeing a list of critical projects with their criticality score, we publish them in csv format.

This data is available on Google Cloud Storage and can be downloaded via the gsutil command-line tool or the web browser here.

NOTE: Currently, these lists are derived from projects hosted on GitHub ONLY. We do plan to expand them in near future to account for projects hosted on other source control systems.

$ gsutil ls gs://ossf-criticality-score/

$ gsutil cat gs://ossf-criticality-score/python_top_200.csv
Project,URL,Language,Created since (months),Updated since (months),Contributors,Orgs for Top15 contributors,Commit freq/week (last yr),Releases (last yr),Closed issues (last 90d),Updated issues (last 90d),Comment freq/issue (last 90d),Commit mentions,Criticality Score


If you want to get involved or have ideas you’d like to chat about, we discuss this project in the Securing Critical Projects WG meetings.

See the Community Calendar for the schedule and meeting invitations.

See the Contributing documentation for guidance on how to contribute.

Unauthorized reproduction of this site is prohibited, and offenders will be held accountable for their legal responsibilities.
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