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Lint Review

Lint Review helps automate a tedious part of code review - enforcing coding
standards. By using the github API Lint Review runs a repository's configured linters
and updates pull requests with line comments where lint errors would be introduced.

Lint Review requires:

  • Python 2.7 (It will probably work in 2.6, but I've only tested 2.7)
  • RabbitMQ (or any other Message broker that is compatible with Celery)
  • A publically addressable hostname/IP that either github or your github:enterprise
    can reach.
  • A github account with read/write access to the repositories you want linted. This
    account is used to post comments on pull reviews.

Lint Review runs as two processes. A web process handles accepting webhooks from github,
and a celery process handles cloning repositories and running lint tools. You'll also
need to have rabbitmq-server running.

Hosted Lint Reviews

If you don't want to go through the trouble of setting up your own installation
of lint-review, provides a hosted version of
featuring all the linters installed, and
an easier to use YAML config file.


You install Lint Review by cloning the repository and installing dependecies,
or by using docker. If you are not using docker, it is recommended that you use
virtualenv to save shaving yaks down the road.

git clone git://
cd lint-review
virtualenv env
source env/bin/activate
pip install .

In addition to installing the dependencies for lint-review you will also need to
install the various lint tools you want to use. Lint-review requires that lint
tools be installed relative to the source code. pep8 and flake8 will be
installed as dependencies for lint-review, but any other tools will need to be
installed using their respective installers. To install all the tools run the following:

# Install ruby tools
bundle install --path ./bundle

# Install javascript tools.
npm install

# Install PHP tools
php composer.phar install

Once the dependencies are installed you should configure the repositories you want to review.

Using AWS

To use aws, you can use packer to generate an Amazon Machine Image to run the application

Once you have your AWS credentials loaded you can run:

packer build packer.json

Which will generate an AMI with the application and lint checkers installed.
This can then be configured using cloud-init by writing the configuration to /etc/environment

Using Docker

To use docker, you'll need to install both docker, docker-compose and possibly docker toolbox
depending on your operating system. Once you have the docker installed, you can boot up lint-review
into docker using:

docker-compose up -d broker worker web

Edit docker-composer.yml and customise your configuration by setting keys under environment for the
web and worker processes. For the most basic installation you'll need to set at least GITHUB_USERNAME

Lint Review Configuration

Lint review is configured through a settings file. Both the web app and celery process
share the same configuration file, so configuration is easier to manage and share.

  • Copy the to
  • Edit the required configuration options, or set the correct environment variables.
  • Set the LINTREVIEW_SETTINGS environment variable to the path
    of your configuration files. In *nix system this can be done via:

    export LINTREVIEW_SETTINGS='/path/to/'
  • You can skip setting LINTREVIEW_SETTINGS if you're running lintreview from
    a directory containing your file.

You can also have per install configuration files by defining the LINTRC_DEFAULTS config
option in your settings file. This file should be a .lintrc config file. It will be merged
with each projects .lintrc before running tools. This gives you an easy way to have
global configuration for tools.

Setting up Repositories

Once you've configured the server processes, it is time to setup some
repositories to be checked.

Installing github hooks

Before Lint Review can check pull requests on a repository webhooks will need
to be installed. You can install webhooks by running the built-in command line

source env/bin/activate
lintreview register mark awesome-stuff

Or, if you're using Docker:

docker-compose run web lintreview register mark awesome-stuff

The above register webhooks for the given user & repository. You can use the
--user and --password options to provide the repository admin credentials
if the user lint-review runs as does not have admin access to the repository.
You can also use the cli tool to remove webhooks:

source env/bin/activate
lintreview unregister mark awesome-stuff

Warning The current web server name will be registered with github. Make sure
it is configured properly before registering hooks, or you'll need to remove
any registered hooks and start over.

.lintrc files

Lint Review use hidden ini files to configure the tools used on each project. The
.lintrc file defines the various linting tools and any arguments for each one. Lint
tools must be tools Lint Review knows about. See lint tools for available
tools. A sample .lintrc file would look like.

ignore = generated/*

linters = pep8, jshint

ignore = W2,E401

config = path/to/jshint.json

The [tools] section is required, and linters should be a list of
linters your project uses. Each tool can also have a section prefixed with tool_
to define additional configuration options for each tool. The documentation for
each tool outlines which options are supported.

The [files] section is optional and allows you to define ignore patterns. These patterns
are used to find and exclude files when doing a review. Ignore patterns use glob expressions
to find files. The patterns start at the reviewed repository root. If you need to ignore mulitple
patterns separate them with new lines.

Running Lint Review

After setting up configuration you'll need to start up both processes:

source env/bin/activate
gunicorn -c lintreview.web:app
celery -A lintreview.tasks worker

Now when ever a pull request is opened or updated for a registered repository
new jobs will be spun up and lint will be checked and commented on.

Lint tools



Uses the flake8 module to check code.


  • ignore Set which pep8 error codes you wish to ignore.
  • exclude Exclude files or directories which match these comma
    separated patterns (default: .svn, CVS, .bzr, .hg, .git)
  • filename When parsing directories, only check filenames
    matching these comma separated patterns (default: *.py)
  • select Select errors and warnings (e.g. E,W6)
  • max-line-length Set maximum allowed line length (default: 79)
  • format Set the error format [default|pylint|<custom>]
  • max-complexity McCabe complexity threshold
  • snippet Interacts with flake8-snippets allowing
    you to trigger errors on specific snippets you want to disallow.

These options are passed into flake8 as cli options.


Uses the pep8 module to check code.


  • ignore Set which pep8 error codes you wish to ignore.



Uses the phpcs PEAR library
to do style checks on PHP, Javascript and or CSS files.


  • standard The coding standard to use. By default the PSR2 standard is used. You can
    use any of the built-in standards or provide your own inside your project directory.
  • extensions The extensions to check. By default only .php files will be checked.
  • ignore A glob path of files to ignore.
  • exclude A comma separated list of sniffs to not apply.
  • tab_width The number of spaces to convert tabs into, this is useful for projects using
    tabs for indentation.



Uses the JSCS npm module to check javascript files. Before
you can use this linter you'll need to install nodejs and the jscs npm package:

cd path/to/lintreview
npm install jscs


  • config Provide a path to the json config file for JSCS.
  • preset Set which JSCS preset you want to use. Unused if config is set.


Uses the jshint npm module to check javascript files. Before
you can use this linter you'll need to install nodejs and the jshint npm package:

cd path/to/lintreview
npm install jshint


  • config Provide a path to the json config file for jshint.


Uses the eslint npm module to check javascript files. Before
you can use this linter you'll need to install the eslint npm package:

cd path/to/lintreview
npm install eslint


  • config Provide a path to the json config file for eslint.


Uses the standard npm module to check javascript files. Before
you can use this linter you'll need to install nodejs and the standard npm package:


  • None currently supported


Uses the jsonlint script from demjson python module
to check javascript object notation files.


  • None currently supported



Uses the csslint npm module to check css files. Before
you can use this linter you'll need to install nodejs and the csslint npm package:

cd path/to/lintreview
npm install

Both warnings and errors will be turned into code review comments. If you don't want
code review comments for specific rules, you should ignore them.


  • ignore A comma separated list of rule ids to ignore.



Uses the sass-lint npm module to check scss and sass files.
you can use this linter you'll need to install nodejs and the sass-lint npm package:

cd path/to/lintreview
npm install


  • ignore A comma separated list of files to ignore.
  • config Project relative path to the sass-lint config file you want



Uses the rubocop gem to check ruby files.
You'll need to install it to use it:

gem install rubocop


  • display_cop_names Set to true to pass display cop names in offense messages.

.rubocop.yml files will be respected, as described



Uses the puppet-lint gem to check puppet manifests
against the puppetlabs style guide.

You'll need to install it to use it:

gem install puppet-lint


No options. .puppet-lintrc files will be respected, to allow each project to disable
checks. A list of checks can be found by running "puppet-lint --help"



Uses the Foodcritic gem to check Chef files.
You'll need to install Foodcritic:

gem install foodcritic


  • path If your cookbooks aren't stored in the root, use this to set the path
    that foodcritic runs against. Example: path = cookbooks

Yet Another Markup Language:


Uses the yamllint module to check yaml and yml files.


  • config Provide a path to the yaml config file for yamlhint.



Uses shellcheck to lint shell scripts.


  • shell Select which shell to use. Options are: bash, sh, ksh or zsh. Default: sh
  • exclude String of checks to ignore. Example: SC2154,SC2069



Uses ansible-lint to lint Ansible plays.


  • ignore Set which ansible-lint error codes you wish to ignore.

Go lang


Uses go-lint to lint go code.


  • min_confidence Set the confidence level of a problem before it is reported.
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