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#104 in Development tools

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Define path pattern and regular expression rules and match against all your repositories/projects/codebases at once. Use that to push and uphold good practices, chase deprecations, and fix common problems all over your code.


% cat omnilinter.conf
[convert deprecated auto_ptr to unique_ptr]
files *.cpp
match /auto_ptr/

[convert setup.py to pyproject.toml]
files setup.py
nofiles pyproject.toml

[add license information]
files *.py *.c* *.h* *.rs
nomatch /^..? SPDX-FileCopyrightText:/

[add CI workflow]
files *.py *.c* *.h* *.rs
nofiles .github/workflows/*.yml

[add project README]
nofiles /README*
% omnilinter -c omnilinter.conf my_projects/*
  setup.py: convert setup.py to pyproject.toml
  src/__init__.py: add license information
  add project README
  add CI workflow
  src/main.cpp: add license information
  src/main.cpp:17: convert deprecated auto_ptr to unique_ptr

See omnilinter's own config and author's ruleset for more examples.


At the very least, you need to specify path to config file and paths to directories to check:

omnilinter -c <path to omnilinter.conf> <directory to check> ...

or, if you set directories to check right in the config, and place it in the default location (~/.config/omnilinter/omnilinter.conf) you can just run


Useful options

  • --tags, --skip-tags - limit operation with a subset of rules.
  • --format by-root|full-paths|by-rule|by-path - specify output format.
  • --color, --palette - tweak output coloring.
  • --error-exitcode - exit with specified code if any rule matches, useful for CI and scripts.

See omnilinter --help for all options.

Config file format

Example omnilinter.conf:

root /path/to/project1
root /path/to/other_projects/*  # patterns are allowed

include /path/to/other.conf

[rule title]
tags tag1,tag2                  # used with --tags, --exclude-tags
nofiles /README* !/README.txt   # require absence of file
files *.py !*.pyi               # or require presence of a file, in which...
match /Object/ !/^class /       # ...require pattern match...
nomatch "^/usr/share/.*"        # ...or absence of pattern match

[next rule]

At the beginning of the file, config directives are allowed:

  • root specifies default directories to operate on. These are only used if no roots are specified on the command line. Shell patterns are supported here. Non-absolute paths are resolved relative to config location.

  • include parses additional configs. Shell patterns are supported here too, non-absolute paths are resolved relative to config location.

Ruleset follows next, in which each rule consists of:

  • Bracketed title which is used when reporting matches. Use ]] if you want to include closing bracket in the title. All other parts are optional.

  • tags directive with a comma or space separated list of tags to filter rules with --tags and --exclude-tags command line options.

  • Path conditions:

    • files which require presence of specific path patterns in the directory.
    • nofiles which require absence thereof.

    Each requires one or more shell pattern (e.g. *.py or /src/*.c* or **/tests/*.rs) and allows exclusions (prefixed by !). Backslash escaping and quotes are allowed like in shell ("program output "\[[0-9]\].txt to match program output [1].txt). Patterns without path separators match everywhere (*.py matches both setup.py and src/mymodule/__init__.py), while patterns with path separators only match relative to root.

  • Content conditions (only allowed after files and only apply to files matched by that specific files condition):

    • match requires match of given regular expression pattern in a file.
    • nomatch requires absence of such match.

    These require one or more regular expressions enclosed in (almost) any character (e.g. /.*/, ".*", |.*| all work, so escaping can be avoided) and also allow !-prefixed exclusions.

    • size checks file size with an operator (>, >=, <, '<=, =or==, !=or<>) against given amount of bytes (e.g. size >= 1024`).
    • lines checks number of lines the same way.

You may build rather complex trees out of these conditions, for example:

[too big readme for such small rust library]
# match when there's src/lib.rs...
files src/lib.rs
# ...but no other .rs files under src/, which along with the
# previous condition suggest it's a single-file rust library
nofiles src/**/*.rs !src/lib.rs
# if there's README file of any kind,...
files /README*
# ...and it's longer than 25 lines...
lines >= 25
# ...unless there's Example: header (implied that it may contain a lot of code)
nomatch /^#* Example:/

When all rule conditions are satisfied, the rule match is reported:

README.md: too big readme for such small rust library

The match may include context:

  • If the very last condition in a rule is match, file and line would be reported.
  • Otherwise, if the very last of path conditions was files, file would be reported (like in example above).
  • Otherwise, there's no specific context, and the report is for the checked directory in general.

Therefore rule order matters, so preconditions should be specified first, and conditions which point to concrete problematic places last.

Rule templates

Rule with special [!template] title is not processed as a regular rule, but instead specifies items (tags and conditions) to be prepended to all following rules. This is useful to reduce duplication. You may specify bodyless [!template] rule without any items to reset the template.


Packaging status

Install from cargo or from your package repository

cargo install omnilinter




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