Checkstyle is a development tool to help programmers write Java code that adheres to a coding standard. It automates the process of checking Java code to spare humans of this boring (but important) task. This makes it ideal for projects that want to enforce a coding standard.

Checkstyle is highly configurable and can be made to support almost any coding standard. An example configuration files are supplied supporting the Sun Code Conventions, Google Java Style.

A good example of a report that can be produced using Checkstyle and Maven can be seen here.

Important Development Changes

As of September 2013, the Checkstyle project is using GitHub for hosting the following:

  • GitHub Source code repository - replacing the Mercurial repository on SourceForge.
  • GitHub Issue management - replacing the Bugs/Feature/Patches on SourceForge. All new issues should be raised at GitHub, and pull requests are now the preferred way to submit patches.

SourceForge will still be used for website hosting and binary hosting for downloads.

Releases will happen at the end of each month if functional changes exists in master branch of our repo.


Checkstyle can check many aspects of your source code. It can find class design problems, method design problems. It also has the ability to check code layout and formatting issues.

For a detailed list of available checks please refer to the Checks page.


The latest release of Checkstyle can be downloaded from the SourceForge download page, or Maven central.

If you want to live on the bleeding edge, you can checkout the current development code from GitHub and compile yourself.


Since Checkstyle 7, some users have been unable to continue upgrading to newer versions of the utility because of the new JDK 1.8 compile requirement. The development team doesn't have the resources to keep updating the utility for older JDKs for those that can't work with the latest version.

However, some members of the community have created an unofficial backport of the latest Checkstyle releases to be run with JDKs as old as 1.6. If you wish to continue using new Checkstyle versions on older JDKs, we recommend you either checkout the github site or the documentation site on how to use the backport version of the utility, in place of the official Checkstyle version.

Related Tools

Checkstyle is most useful if you integrate it in your build process or your development environment. The distribution includes:

Additionally plug-ins are written by third-parties. Some of them are still based on the Checkstyle 2.4 release, although there have been many improvements since then. The known plug-ins are:

Active Tools

IDE / Build tool Main/Initial Author Available from Remarks
Bitbucket Server Stephan Bechter Checkstyles for Bitbucket Server
Codacy João Machado codacy-checkstyle Provides analysis per commit and per pull request. Supports CheckStyle config files.
Eclipse/RAD/RDz David Schneider Eclipse-CS Home Page In 2007 was awarded Best Open Source Eclipse-based Developer tool .
Gradle Hans Dockter (initial author) Checkstyle supported out of the box Gradle Checkstyle docs
IntelliJ IDEA James Shiell Checkstyle-idea Project Page Provides real-time and on-demand scanning.
jGRASP Larry Barowski jGRASP Home Page
Eclipse/RAD/RDz Roman Ivanov Project Page Extension for Eclipse-CS plugin and also an incubator for Checkstyle checks that are not present in main stream of Checkstyle. See the Wiki and Blog .
Bamboo Checkstyle plug-in Atlassian (formerly by Ross Rowe and Stephan Paulicke) Bamboo Checkstyle plug-in Home Page An add-on that will parse and record CheckStyle reports and report your style violations over time.
Code Climate Sivakumar Kailasam codeclimate-checkstyle
Jenkins Checkstyle plug-in Jenkins Checkstyle plug-in Home Page This plug-in is supported by the Static Analysis Collector plug-in that collects different analysis results and shows the results in aggregated trend graphs.
Maven Vincent Massol Checkstyle supported out of the box example report
tIDE Built in
NetBeans Petr Hejl Checkstyle Beans Problems with source code are displayed as annotations of the source
NetBeans Software Quality Environment (SQE)
SonarQube Freddy Mallet (initial author) SonarQube Home Page Demo site
jEdit Todd Papaioannou JEdit CheckStylePlugin
SCM-Manager SCM-Manager Plugin Page
IntelliJ IDEA Jakub Slawinski QAPlug Provides quality assurance features.
JArchitect JArchitect Home Page Imports XML result files from CheckStyle.
SBT Andrew Johnson sbt-checkstyle-plugin Project Page SBT plugin for running Checkstyle on Java source files in an SBT project

Inactive / Old Tools

IDE / Build tool Main/Initial Author Available from Remarks
IntelliJ IDEA Mark Lussier JetStyle Project Page
jCoderZ fawkez-code-report Combines multiple tools (CheckStyle, findbugs, PMD, Cobertura, etc.)
BlueJ Rick Giles bluejcheckstyle home page
Eclipse/RAD/RDz Marco van Meegen Checklipse Home Page
QALab Benoit Xhenseval QALab Home Page Supports tracking Checkstyle statistics over time.
NetBeans Paul Goulbourn nbCheckStyle
Emacs JDE Markus Mohnen Part of the standard JDEE distribution
Vim editor Xandy Johnson Plugin Homepage Vim file-type plug-in

If you have written a plugin for other IDEs, please let us know, so we can provide a link here.