Skip to the content.


This is a tool to index, then query or search C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, Go and Javascript source code.

It builds upon the databases of cscope and Exuberant ctags. It can also work with Universal ctags, which is a drop-in replacement for Exuberant ctags.

The databases of cscope and ctags would be processed by the cqmakedb tool to generate the CodeQuery database file.

The CodeQuery database file can be viewed and queried using the codequery GUI tool.

Build Status Coverity Status

Latest version = 1.0.0

Windows binaries available here for download: CodeQuery@sourceforge downloads

On Debian and Ubuntu Linux, the software can be installed using apt-get install codequery.

To build on Linux, please read the INSTALL-LINUX file.

On Mac, the software can be installed through Brew using brew install codequery.

Please read NEWS to find out more.

How is it different from cscope and ctags? What are the advantages?

Both cscope and ctags can do symbol lookup and identify functions, macros, classes and structs.

cscope is very C-centric, but is fuzzy enough to cover C++ and Java, but not very well for e.g. it doesn’t understand destructors and class member instantiations. It can’t provide relationships of class inheritance and membership. cscope can do “functions that call this function” and “functions called by this function”. This is a very powerful feature that makes cscope stand out among comparable tools.

ctags does many languages well and understands destructors, member instantiations, and the relationships of class membership and inheritance. From ctags, we can find out “members and methods of this class”, “class which owns this member or method”, “parent of this class”, “child of this class” etc. However, it doesn’t do “functions that call this function” or “functions called by this function”.

So both these tools have their pros and cons, but complement each other.

CodeQuery is a project that attempts to combine the features available from both cscope and ctags, provide faster database access compared to cscope (because it uses sqlite) and provides a nice GUI tool as well. Due to this faster database access, fast auto-completion of search terms and multiple complex queries to perform visualization is possible.

In addition, pycscope is used to add support for Python, in place of cscope.

In addition, starscope is used to add support for Ruby, Go and Javascript, in place of cscope.

What features does CodeQuery have?

What types of query can I make?

What does it look like?

CodeQuery screenshot

How does the visualization look like?

Here’s a function call graph based on the search term of “updateFilePathLabel”. A -> B means A calls B:
Visualization screenshot

Are other editors like vim or emacs or Visual Studio Code supported?


There is a vim plugin for CodeQuery called vim-codequery by devjoe.

There is a Visual Studio Code extension for CodeQuery called codequery4vscode by ruben2020. The Visual Studio Code Extension Marketplace page for this extension is ruben2020.codequery4vscode.

We welcome contributors to develop plugins for other editors too.

What does it cost? How is it licensed?

It’s freeware and free open source software.

This software is licensed under the Mozilla Public License, version 2.0 (MPL-2.0). See or LICENSE.txt. This applies to both the distributed Source Code Form and the distributed Executable Form of the software.

To understand the MPL-2.0 license, please read the MPL-2.0 FAQ by

Files under the querylib directory are licensed under the MIT license. See QueryLib README. This is a library to query CodeQuery database files. This library is MIT-licensed, so that it may be used to create plugins for editors, IDEs and other software without restrictions. It’s only dependency is on sqlite3.

Can I use it in a commercial environment without purchasing, for an unlimited time?

Yes. However, donations are welcomed.

Which platforms are supported?

It has been tested on Windows 10 64-bit, Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Arch Linux 64-bit.

Contributions are welcomed to attempt ports to other operating systems.

Is the software available in other languages?

Yes. This applies only to the GUI tool.

Contributions are welcomed to update or provide new translations.

How to install it?

On Windows, EXE setup packages will be provided here: CodeQuery@sourceforge downloads. The EXE setup package shall also contain cscope.exe, ctags.exe and the required DLLs. So, everything you need is in one package. However, pycscope (optional - only for Python) and starscope (optional - only for Ruby, Go and Javascript) are not bundled together with this setup package and need to be installed separately.

On Debian and Ubuntu Linux, the software can be installed using apt-get install codequery.

On Mac, the software can be installed through Brew using brew install codequery.

To build on Linux and Mac, please read the INSTALL-LINUX file.

Version 15.8a of cscope or higher, works best with CodeQuery.

How do I use it?

On Windows: HOWTO-WINDOWS. This file is included in the EXE setup package.

On Linux and Mac: HOWTO-LINUX

Please read the HOWTO file provided for each platform. The workflow looks like this: CodeQuery workflow

How do I generate whole-program call graphs or UML class diagrams?

CodeQuery cannot do this at the moment.

To generate whole-program call graphs, please use GNU cflow or CodeViz for C and C++. For Java, there is Javashot.

To generate whole-program UML class diagrams for various object-oriented languages, please use tags2uml.

Are there any known limitations?

For C and C++, inline assembly code is not supported by all the tools. This mainly affects embedded software, OS and driver code.

Please exclude files with inline assembly code from the list of files (cscope.files) to be scanned.

How do I contact the authors for support, issues, bug reports, fix patches, feature requests etc.?

Please see the email address below, and also the Issues tab in GitHub.

Email address:
Contact address

Website: CodeQuery website

How can I contribute?

List of Contributors

(More welcomed)


We thank the people behind the following projects:
cscope - our database is derived from this
Exuberant ctags- our database is derived from this
Universal ctags - drop-in replacement for Exuberant ctags
pycscope - our database (for Python) is derived from this
starscope - our database (for Ruby, Go and Javascript) is derived from this
sqlite3 - our database is using this format
CMake - cross-platform build toolchain for CodeQuery
Qt open source - GUI toolkit used to build CodeQuery
showgraph - visualization done using this library
scintilla - our code editing widget
vim-codequery - vim plugin for CodeQuery
Axialis - free images for CodeQuery and this website
brew - binaries for Mac here