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buildifier is a tool for formatting bazel BUILD and .bzl files with a standard convention.


Build the tool:

  • Checkout the repo and then either via go install or bazel build //buildifier
  • If you already have 'go' installed, then build a binary via:

go get


Use buildifier to create standardized formatting for BUILD and .bzl files in the same way that clang-format is used for source files.

$ buildifier path/to/file

You can also process multiple files at once:

Buildifier automatically detects the file type (either BUILD or .bzl) by its filename. If you

$ buildifier $(find . -type f \( -iname BUILD -or -iname BUILD.bazel \))

Files with unknown names (e.g. will be formatted as .bzl files because the format for .bzl files is more flexible and less harmful.

You can use Buildifier as a filter by invoking it with no arguments. In that mode it reads from standard input and writes the reformatted version to standard output. In this case it won't be able to see its name to choose the correct formatting rules, and for compatibility reasons it will use the BUILD format in such situations. This may be changed in the future, and to enforce a special format explicitly use the --type flag:

$ cat | buildifier --type=build
$ cat foo.baz | buildifier --type=bzl


Buildifier has an integrated linter that can point out and in some cases automatically fix various issues. To use it launch one of the following commands to show and to fix the issues correspondingly:

buildifier --lint=warn path/to/file
buildifier --lint=fix path/to/file

By default the linter searches for all known issues, but you can limit the list of categories:

buildifier --lint=warn --warnings=positional-args,duplicated-name

See also the full list or the supported warnings.

Setup and usage via Bazel

You can also invoke buildifier via the Bazel rule. WORKSPACE file:

load("@bazel_tools//tools/build_defs/repo:http.bzl", "http_archive")

# buildifier is written in Go and hence needs rules_go to be built.
# See for the up to date setup instructions.
    name = "io_bazel_rules_go",
    sha256 = "f87fa87475ea107b3c69196f39c82b7bbf58fe27c62a338684c20ca17d1d8613",
    url = "",

    name = "com_github_bazelbuild_buildtools",
    strip_prefix = "buildtools-<commit hash>",
    url = "<commit hash>.zip",

load("@io_bazel_rules_go//go:def.bzl", "go_register_toolchains", "go_rules_dependencies")
load("@com_github_bazelbuild_buildtools//buildifier:deps.bzl", "buildifier_dependencies")




BUILD.bazel typically in the workspace root:

load("@com_github_bazelbuild_buildtools//buildifier:def.bzl", "buildifier")

    name = "buildifier",

Invoke with

bazel run //:buildifier