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Reek -- code smell detection for Ruby

Build Status

Reek is a tool that examines Ruby classes, modules and methods and reports any code smells it finds. Install it like this:

$ gem install reek

and run it like this:

$ reek [options] [dir_or_source_file]*

For a full list of command-line options see the Reek wiki[http://wiki.github.com/troessner/reek/command-line-options] or run

$ reek --help


Imagine a source file demo.rb containing:

class Dirty
  # This method smells of :reek:NestedIterators but ignores them
  def awful(x, y, offset = 0, log = false)
    puts @screen.title
    @screen = widgets.map {|w| w.each {|key| key += 3}}
    puts @screen.contents

Reek will report the following code smells in this file:

$ reek demo.rb
spec/samples/demo/demo.rb -- 6 warnings:
  Dirty has no descriptive comment (IrresponsibleModule)
  Dirty#awful has 4 parameters (LongParameterList)
  Dirty#awful has boolean parameter 'log' (ControlCouple)
  Dirty#awful has the parameter name 'x' (UncommunicativeName)
  Dirty#awful has the parameter name 'y' (UncommunicativeName)
  Dirty#awful has the variable name 'w' (UncommunicativeName)


Reek currently includes checks for some aspects of Control Couple, Data Clump, Feature Envy, Large Class, Long Method, Long Parameter List, Simulated Polymorphism, Uncommunicative Name and more. See the Reek wiki for up to date details of exactly what Reek will check in your code.


Basically there are two ways to use reek in your project except for the obvious static code analysis:

(1) Use Reek's Rake Task to easily add Reek to your Rakefile

(2) Add Reek's custom matcher to your Rspec examples like this:

require 'rubygems'
require 'spec'
require 'reek'
require 'reek/spec'
require 'reek/spec'

include Reek::Spec

my_precious_code = 'class C; def m; end; end'
my_precious_code.should_not reek # Well, it does.


  • Fork the repo
  • Create a feature branch
  • Make sure the tests pass (see below)
  • Submit a pull request

Running the tests

Either just rake to run all or, if you want to be specific:

spec spec/your/file        # Runs all tests
spec spec/your/file -l 23  # Runs test in line 23
spec spec/your/file -u     # Runs all tests stopping at the breakpoints you have set before with `debugger`

Tool Integration


Reek makes use of the following other gems:

  • ruby_parser
  • sexp_processor
  • ruby2ruby

Learn More

Find out more about Reek from any of the following sources: