Description

This document describes how to run Checkstyle using the command line tool. The latest version of Checkstyle can be found at http://checkstyle.sourceforge.net. This command line tool is included in the Checkstyle distribution.

Command line usage

java -D<property>=<value>  \
     com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main \
     -c <configurationFile> \
     [-f <format>] [-p <propertiesFile>] [-o <file>] \
     file...
      

Checkstyle will process the specified files and by default report errors to standard out in plain format. Checkstyle requires a configuration XML file that configures the checks to apply. Command line options are:

  • -c configurationFile - specifies the location of the file that defines the configuration modules. The location can either be a filesystem location, or a name passed to the ClassLoader.getResource() method.
  • -f format - specify the output format. Options are "plain" for the DefaultLogger and "xml" for the XMLLogger. Defaults to "plain".
  • -p propertiesFile - specify a properties file to use.
  • -o file - specify the file to output to.

Note that the -n packageNamesFile option has been dropped for Checkstyle 5.0, because of significant changes regarding package name file handling. See for details.

Set the properties for expanded property values by either by assigning system properties using the -D<property>=<value> arguments to java or specifying a property file using the -p option. If a property file is specified, the system properties are ignored.

Download and Run

It is possible to run Checkstyle directly from the JAR file using the -jar option. Download latest checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar. An example of run would be:

java -jar checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar -c /sun_checks.xml MyClass.java
java -jar checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar -c /google_checks.xml MyClass.java
        
It is recommended to use configuration files that are embeded in jar files, but latest configuration files are there: sun_checks.xml google_checks.xml

To run Checkstyle UI viewer for AST tree directly from the JAR file using the -jar option. Download latest checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar. An example of run would be (path to java file is optional):

java -cp checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.gui.Main MyClass.java
        

Run after compilation

Download and compile:

git clone https://github.com/checkstyle/checkstyle.git
cd checkstyle
mvn clean compile
        
Run validation with arguments:
mvn exec:java -Dexec.mainClass="com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main" \
              -Dexec.args="-c /sun_checks.xml src/main/java "
        
Run UI application for file :
 mvn exec:java -Dexec.mainClass="com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.gui.Main" \
               -Dexec.args="src/main/java/com/puppycrawl/tools/checkstyle/Checker.java"
        
Build all jars, and launch CLI from new build:
mvn clean package -Passembly
java -jar target/checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar -c /sun_checks.xml MyClass.java
        

Usage by Classpath update

The easiest way is to include checkstyle-6.4.1-all.jar in the classpath. Alternatively, you must include the compile third party dependencies listed in Project Dependencies in the classpath.

Run checkstyle with configuration file at docs/sun_checks.xml on a filesystem

java com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main -c docs/sun_checks.xml \
     Check.java
      

Run checkstyle with configuration file docs/sun_checks.xml on all Java files in a directory

java com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main -c docs/sun_checks.xml \
     src/
      

Run checkstyle with configuration file docs/sun_checks.xml on a file and provide a system property

java -Dcheckstyle.cache.file=target/cachefile \
     com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main -c docs/sun_checks.xml \
     Check.java
      

Run checkstyle with configuration file docs/sun_checks.xml on a file and use properties in a file

java com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main -c docs/sun_checks.xml \
     -p myCheckstyle.properties Check.java
      

Run checkstyle with configuration file docs/sun_checks.xml on a file and output to a file in XML format

java com.puppycrawl.tools.checkstyle.Main -c docs/sun_checks.xml \
     -f xml -o build/checkstyle_errors.xml Check.java