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This library provides a linter for the metadata in Emacs Lisp files which are intended to be packages. You can integrate it into your build process.

package-lint detects various issues that may make your package uninstallable or unusable for some users, and it warns about significant deviations from the Elisp coding conventions, such as non-compliant symbol naming, and use of reserved keybindings. Among other community uses, package-lint is a prerequisite for submission of packages to MELPA.

package-lint can be used standalone, but see also the flycheck-package and package-lint-flymake packages, which both use package-lint to conveniently display packaging errors directly in the buffer while writing elisp packages.


The recommended way to get package-lint is as a package from the MELPA repository. The version of package-lint there will always be up-to-date. There are also packages in MELPA Stable, which track the latest numbered tag.


Use the command package-lint-current-buffer interactively, or use package-lint-buffer if linting programmatically.

If you're a package author, you can include package-lint in your build process by ensuring that the package is installed, and then using the function package-lint-batch-and-exit to lint your files -- see in this repo for an example.


Additional checks for future versions:

  • WARN: header line formatting / capitalisation
  • trailing line presence / formatting
  • WARN: library is called *-mode but doesn't provide a major mode
  • checkdoc failures for interactive functions / defcustoms
  • trailing whitespace?
  • themes which aren't in a matching *-theme.el file
  • use of unsafe local variables
  • local variable set in header line
  • using commentary to talk about load[- ]path and installation
  • lack of autoloads
  • references to README files which won't be bundled in a package
  • use of CamelCase identifiers
  • Defining a -mode function directly instead of using define-derived-mode or define-minor-mode
  • Referring to display-graphic-p or window-system in -theme.el files


Please refer to the file LICENSE.


package-lint was written by Steve Purcell with significant contributions from Fanael Linithien.

Author links:

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🐦 @sanityinc