SBT Plugin for Running Checkstyle on Java Sources
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sbt-checkstyle-plugin Build Status

This project provides an SBT 0.13+ and 1.x plugin for running Checkstyle over Java source files. For more information about Checkstyle, see

This plugin uses version 6.15 of Checkstyle.

This is a fork of the sbt-code-quality project found here.


Add the following lines to project/plugins.sbt:

addSbtPlugin("com.etsy" % "sbt-checkstyle-plugin" % "3.1.1")

sbt-checkstyle-plugin is an AutoPlugin, so there is no need to modify the build.sbt file to enable it.


You can run Checkstyle over your Java source files with the checkstyle task. You can run Checkstyle over your Java tests with the test:checkstyle task.

The Checkstyle configuration file is ./checkstyle-config.xml by default. This can be changed by setting the value of checkstyleConfigLocation. By default test:checkstyle uses the same configuration file, but this can be changed by setting the value of checkstyleConfigLocation in Test.

The Checkstyle report is output to target/checkstyle-report.xml by default. This can be changed by setting the value of checkstyleOutputFile. test:checkstyle outputs to target/checkstyle-test-report.xml, but this can be changed by setting the value of checkstyleOutputFile in Test.

To change the checkstyle configuration file set checkstyleConfigLocation in build.sbt:

checkstyleConfigLocation := CheckstyleConfigLocation.File("checkstyle-config.xml")

You can also load remote configuration files by specifying a URL:

checkstyleConfigLocation :=

Or load configuration files from the classpath by specifying a resource name:

checkstyleConfigLocation := CheckstyleConfigLocation.Classpath("com/etsy/checkstyle-config.xml")

To run Checkstyle automatically after compilation:

(checkstyle in Compile) := (checkstyle in Compile).triggeredBy(compile in Compile).value

To run Checkstyle automatically after test compilation:

(checkstyle in Test) := (checkstyle in Test).triggeredBy(compile in Test).value

XSLT transformations

The checkstyleXsltTransformations setting allows applying XSLT transformations to the XML report generated by Checkstyle. For instance, this could be used to generate a more readable HTML report. This setting takes values of Option[Set[XSLTSettings]], so multiple transformations can be applied.

You can set checkstyleXsltTransformations like so in build.sbt:

checkstyleXsltTransformations := {
  Some(Set(CheckstyleXSLTSettings(baseDirectory(_ / "checkstyle-noframes.xml").value, target(_ / "checkstyle-report.html").value)))

Failing the build

You can control what severity of issues should break the build by setting the checkstyleSeverityLevel in your build.sbt as follows:

checkstyleSeverityLevel := Some(CheckstyleSeverityLevel.Error)

Possible values are defined by the CheckstyleSeverityLevel enumeration. The default is None.

Integration tests

If you want to run Checkstyle on your integration tests add the following to your build.sbt:

lazy val root = (project in file(".")).configs(IntegrationTest)


checkstyleConfigLocation := CheckstyleConfigLocation.File("my-checkstyle-config.xml"),
checkstyle in IntegrationTest := checkstyleTask(IntegrationTest).value,
checkstyleOutputFile in IntegrationTest := target.value / "checkstyle-integration-test-report.xml"

You can then run the tasks it:checkstyle and it:checkstyle-check.

Upgrading Checkstyle version

SBT Checkstyle plugin comes with a default Checkstyle version: currently, Checkstyle 6.15 is used by default.

Provided the new Checkstyle version is compatible, you can override the version used at runtime in your project/plugins.sbt:

dependencyOverrides += "" % "checkstyle" % "6.15"



  • Description: The location of the generated checkstyle report.
  • Accepts: any legal file path
  • Default: Some(target.value / "checkstyle-report.xml")


  • Description: The location of the checkstyle configuration file.
  • Accepts: CheckstyleConfigLocation.{File, URL, Classpath}
  • Default: CheckstyleConfigLocation.File("checkstyle-config.xml")


  • Description: A set of XSLT transformations to be applied to the checkstyle output (optional).
  • Accepts: Some(Set[CheckstyleXSLTSettings])
  • Default: None


  • Description: Decide how much effort to put into analysis.
  • Accepts: Some(CheckstyleSeverityLevel.{Ignore, Info, Warning, Error})
  • Default: None