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Ways to Get a Free PVS-Studio License

Ways to Get a Free PVS-Studio License

Mar 11 2019

There are several ways to get a free license of the PVS-Studio static code analyzer, which is meant for searching for errors and potential vulnerabilities. Open source projects, small closed projects, public security specialists and owners of the Microsoft MVP status can use the license for free. The article briefly describes each of these options.

Some potential users complain that options of free licensing described here aren't user-friendly or don't suit them in order to try PVS-Studio. So here's a very important note: what is written here is not the way to try PVS-Studio! To investigate the abilities of the tool, one has to use a temporary license key that you can request on the download page. And only if you decide to use PVS-Studio (in addition, for free), this article will give a clue how to do it.


PVS-Studio is a tool designed to detect errors and potential vulnerabilities in the source code of programs, written in C, C++, C# and Java. It works in Windows, Linux and macOS environments.

PVS-Studio is a paid B2B solution, it is used by many teams in various companies. List of clients.

So let's consider the cases, when the PVS-Studio analyzer can be used free of charge.

Open Source Projects

PVS-Studio can be used for free by the programmers, participating in development of open source projects, posted on GitHub, GitLab or Bitbucket. Everyone who wishes, can get a free license for 1 year. To get a license, you need to:

  • Go to the page: /en/open-source-license/
  • Enter your name and the e-mail, to which you'd like to receive a license key;
  • Enter the link to your GitHub/GitLab/Bitbucket profile;
  • Send a request for a free license.

Upon expiration of the license, you can get a new license key in the same way.

The key is individual and can only be used to check open source projects hosted on GitHub/GitLab/Bitbucket. Free license doesn't extend to projects' mirrors.

More details about this type of free licensing are given in the article "Free PVS-Studio for those who develops open source projects".

Closed Projects

There are many small private projects developed by enthusiasts. For example, games, created by indie developers or projects of academic focus.

The option of free licensing, based on adding comments of a special type in the code, will be right for these projects. The point is that such comments are unacceptable in large corporate projects, but developers may well add them in their individual projects.

Here are these comments:

Comments for students (academic license):

// This is a personal academic project. Dear PVS-Studio, please check it.

// PVS-Studio Static Code Analyzer for C, C++, C#, and Java:

Comments for individual developers:

// This is an independent project of an individual developer. Dear PVS-Studio, please check it.

// PVS-Studio Static Code Analyzer for C, C++, C#, and Java:

By the way, this type of free licenses can be actually used not only in closed, but in open projects as well.

Comments for free open source projects:

// This is an open source non-commercial project. Dear PVS-Studio, please check it.

// PVS-Studio Static Code Analyzer for C, C++, C#, and Java:

You need to go through two steps to start using PVS-Studio code analyzer for free.

Step 1. If you are using PVS-Studio as a Visual Studio plugin or you are using the "C and C++ Compiler Monitoring UI" (Standalone.exe) utility, enter the following license key:

Name: PVS-Studio Free


If you are using PVS-Studio for Linux/macOS, use the following command:

pvs-studio-analyzer credentials PVS-Studio Free FREE-FREE-FREE-FREE

Note. Previously, a comment was enough to activate the free license for the Linux version. Now you also need to enter this special key, because without it, some scenarios for using the analyzer turned out to be inconvenient. Read more.

Step 2. You have to write two lines of comments at the beginning of each file. Make edits in all the compilable files of your project. We mean files with the extensions c, cc, cpp, cs, java and others. You don't have to change header files.

If your project has a large number of files, then you can use the 'how-to-use-pvs-studio-free' utility. You will need to specify the comment to insert and the directory with the code. After that the utility will recursively traverse all the files in the folder and subfolders, adding necessary comments to the code. You can download the utility (together with the source code) here: how-to-use-pvs-studio-free.

You can read about some additional details of this type of free licensing in the article "How to use PVS-Studio for Free". Please, be sure to read this article in case if you decided to choose the above option of free usage.

Security experts

Public security experts, specialized in searching for vulnerabilities, can write to us and get a free license for the PVS-Studio analyzer.

Everyone who wishes to get the license and support will have to confirm, that they specialize in security issues and conduct public activities, for example, write articles. We'll specify these things by mail.

Read more: "Handing out PVS-Studio Analyzer Licenses to Security Experts".

Microsoft MVP

The first people, whom we offered free licenses, were Microsoft MVPs. The post "Free PVS-Studio licenses for MVPs" appeared back in 2011. Hardly anyone remembers about this now, but this offer still stands.

If you are a Microsoft MVP, email us and specify your MVP profile on Microsoft's website. We will send you the license, which allows using PVS-Studio for 12 months without any restrictions, including usage for commercial purposes. After it expires, it will be possible to extend the license.


We probably need to remind about the main scenario.

  • A trial analyzer version is available on the site. Here is the page where you can download PVS-Studio and get a trial key.
  • A company can purchase the license and get quick and proficient support. Your developers will communicate directly with our developers from the PVS-Studio team. No middlemen, support staff and so on. Only direct communication with programmers and me (technical director). Example.

Thanks for your attention and we wish you to prevent as many errors as possible by using PVS-Studio. Just don't forget that the point of static code methodology is in its regular use, not in single checks. Good luck!

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