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Simple Python style checker in one Python file
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pep8 - Python style guide checker

pep8 is a tool to check your Python code against some of the style conventions in PEP 8.

Mailing List


  • Plugin architecture: Adding new checks is easy.
  • Parseable output: Jump to error location in your editor.
  • Small: Just one Python file, requires only stdlib. You can use just the file for this purpose.
  • Comes with a comprehensive test suite.


You can install, upgrade, uninstall with these commands:

$ pip install pep8
$ pip install --upgrade pep8
$ pip uninstall pep8

There's also a package for Debian/Ubuntu, but it's not always the latest version:

$ sudo apt-get install pep8

Example usage and output

$ pep8 --first E401 multiple imports on one line E302 expected 2 blank lines, found 1 E301 expected 1 blank line, found 0 W602 deprecated form of raising exception E211 whitespace before '(' E201 whitespace after '{' E221 multiple spaces before operator W601 .has_key() is deprecated, use 'in'

You can also make show the source code for each error, and even the relevant text from PEP 8:

$ pep8 --show-source --show-pep8 testsuite/
testsuite/ E401 multiple imports on one line
import os, sys
    Imports should usually be on separate lines.

    Okay: import os\nimport sys
    E401: import sys, os

Or you can display how often each error was found:

$ pep8 --statistics -qq Python-2.5/Lib
232     E201 whitespace after '['
599     E202 whitespace before ')'
631     E203 whitespace before ','
842     E211 whitespace before '('
2531    E221 multiple spaces before operator
4473    E301 expected 1 blank line, found 0
4006    E302 expected 2 blank lines, found 1
165     E303 too many blank lines (4)
325     E401 multiple imports on one line
3615    E501 line too long (82 characters)
612     W601 .has_key() is deprecated, use 'in'
1188    W602 deprecated form of raising exception

Quick help is available on the command line:

$ pep8 -h
Usage: pep8 [options] input ...

  --version            show program's version number and exit
  -h, --help           show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose        print status messages, or debug with -vv
  -q, --quiet          report only file names, or nothing with -qq
  -r, --repeat         (obsolete) show all occurrences of the same error
  --first              show first occurrence of each error
  --exclude=patterns   exclude files or directories which match these comma
                       separated patterns (default: .svn,CVS,.bzr,.hg,.git)
  --filename=patterns  when parsing directories, only check filenames matching
                       these comma separated patterns (default: *.py)
  --select=errors      select errors and warnings (e.g. E,W6)
  --ignore=errors      skip errors and warnings (e.g. E4,W)
  --show-source        show source code for each error
  --show-pep8          show text of PEP 8 for each error (implies --first)
  --statistics         count errors and warnings
  --count              print total number of errors and warnings to standard
                       error and set exit code to 1 if total is not null
  --max-line-length=n  set maximum allowed line length (default: 79)
  --format=format      set the error format [default|pylint|<custom>]
  --diff               report only lines changed according to the unified diff
                       received on STDIN

  Testing Options:
    --testsuite=dir    run regression tests from dir
    --doctest          run doctest on myself
    --benchmark        measure processing speed

    The project options are read from the [pep8] section of the .pep8 file
    located in any parent folder of the path(s) being processed. Allowed
    options are: exclude, filename, select, ignore, max-line-length,
    count, format, quiet, show-pep8, show-source, statistics, verbose.

    --config=path      config file location (default: /home/user/.config/pep8)


Your feedback is more than welcome. Write email to or post bugs and feature requests on github:

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The source code is currently available on github. Fork away!

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