license is a command line tool which allows you to download open source licenses from The project uses Goreleaser to cross-compile binaries for all kinds of operating systems and architectures, including Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and various Linux distributions. A full list of all binaries can be found in the release archive on GitHub


Using license is straightforward. Once it has been installed as described on GitHub it can be used from a terminal as $ license command.

Download a license

If you want to download the MIT license, type license get MIT and the MIT license will be downloaded to the current directory. The output file is named LICENSE without a file extension. To add a file extension use license get -f md MIT and the file will be saved as

See license help for a full list of all commands.

Technology used

License is programmed in Go, a C-like language developed by Google. It uses the excellent cobra Go library to handle command line arguments and flags.

The license data is downloaded from, which is a fork of the project by GitHub. is a Jekyll based website that helps developers choosing licenses by providing information on each license. I forked the repository and re-wrote the templates so that each page returns JSON which is then consumed by my Go script.

The release process is automated with Goreleaser, a tool to cross-compile Go binaries and publish them as release to GitHub. All it takes is a configuration file, .goreleaser.yml.