Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file

Latest commit

* Adds `--config` option for use of YAML config file and creates tests for config options
* Adds `--log-file`
* Updates vnujar to 20.6.30
* Drops Python 3.4 support as it is not supported by PyYAML
* Adds Python 3.8 support

Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


HTML5 Validator

html5validator is a command line tool that tests files for HTML5 validity. This was written with static site generators like Jekyll and Pelican in mind. Dynamic html content (for example from JS template engines) can be crawled (e.g. with localcrawl) and then validated.


This module requires Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 or 3.8 and Java 8 (openjdk8 or oraclejdk8). Install with pip install html5validator and run with

html5validator --root _build/

to validate all html files in the _build directory. Run html5validator --help to see the list of command line options:

usage: html5validator [-h] [--root ROOT] [--match MATCH [MATCH ...]]
                      [--blacklist [BLACKLIST [BLACKLIST ...]]]
                      [--show-warnings] [--no-langdetect]
                      [--format {gnu,xml,json,text}]
                      [--ignore [IGNORE [IGNORE ...]]]
                      [--ignore-re [IGNORE_RE [IGNORE_RE ...]]]
                      [--config CONFIG] [-l] [-ll] [-lll] [--log LOG]
                      [--log-file LOG_FILE] [--version]
                      [files [files ...]]

[v0.3.3] Command line tool for HTML5 validation. Return code is 0 for valid
HTML5. Arguments that are unknown to html5validator are passed as arguments to

positional arguments:
  files                 specify files to check

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --root ROOT           start directory to search for files to validate
  --match MATCH [MATCH ...]
                        match file pattern in search (default: "*.html" or
                        "*.html *.css" if --also-check-css is used)
  --blacklist [BLACKLIST [BLACKLIST ...]]
                        directory names to skip in search
  --show-warnings       show warnings and count them as errors
  --no-langdetect       disable language detection
  --format {gnu,xml,json,text}
                        output format
  --ignore [IGNORE [IGNORE ...]]
                        ignore messages containing the given strings
  --ignore-re [IGNORE_RE [IGNORE_RE ...]]
                        regular expression of messages to ignore
  --config CONFIG       Path to a config file for options
  -l                    run on larger files: sets Java stack size to 2048k
  -ll                   run on larger files: sets Java stack size to 8192k
  -lll                  run on larger files: sets Java stack size to 32768k
  --log LOG             log level: DEBUG, INFO or WARNING (default: WARNING)
  --log-file LOG_FILE   Name for log file. If no name supplied then no log
                        file will be created
  --version             show program's version number and exit

This module uses the backend which is written in Java. Therefore, a Java Runtime Environment must be available on your system. Since version 0.2, Java 8 is required.

Checking CSS/SVG

html5validator --root _build/ --also-check-css

# checking only CSS
html5validator --root _build/ --skip-non-css

Replace css with svg for similar behavior with SVG files.

Integration with CircleCI 1.0

Create a circle.yml file:

    version: openjdk8
    - sudo pip install html5validator
    - html5validator --root _build/

in your repository with static html files and get HTML5 validation on every git push.

Integration with CircleCI 2.0

Simplified example circle.yml file from pelican-jsmath:

version: 2
      - image: python:3.6-stretch
      - run:
          name: install Java
          command: apt-get update && apt-get install -y openjdk-8-jre
      - checkout
      - run:
          name: install
          command: pip install '.[test]'
      - run:
          name: generate html
          working_directory: test/example_site
          command: pelican content -s
      - run:
          name: validate html
          command: html5validator --root test/example_site/output
  version: 2
      - test-3.6

Integration with TravisCI

Create a .travis.yml file. This is an example for a Python project:

language: python
 - "2.7"
      - openjdk-8-jre  # install Java8 as required by vnu.jar

    - gh-pages

 - pip install html5validator

script: html5validator --root _build/

This is an example for Java project:

language: java
 - oraclejdk8  # vnu.jar requires Java 8

    - gh-pages

 - pip install --user html5validator

script: html5validator --root _build/

Fix the html5validator version by using pip install --user html5validator==<version number>.

You can also use this for user pages (repositories of the form <username> where the html files are in the master branch. You only have to remove:

    - gh-pages

from .travis.yml. I am using this on my own user page.

Integration with CodeShip

Add this lines to the Setup Commands:

jdk_switcher use oraclejdk8
pip install html5validator

This is an example for Ruby project:

rvm use 2.2.0 --install
bundle install
bundle update
export RAILS_ENV=test
jdk_switcher use oraclejdk8
pip install html5validator

Integration with GitLab CI

There is a docker image available to be used with GitLab CI or stand alone. Docker image, Docker image repo.

Example for html test (Full):

  stage: html_test
  image: cyb3rjak3/html5validator:latest
    - html5validator --root public/ --also-check-css --format text

Integration with GitHub Actions

There is a Github Action that can be used to check repositories. Marketplace Link.

Example action:

- name: HTML5 Validator
  uses: Cyb3r-Jak3/html5validator-action@master
    root: html/

Technical Notes

  • If you are using grunt already, maybe consider using the grunt-html plugin for grunt instead.
  • Use --ignore-re 'Attribute "ng-[a-z-]+" not allowed' with angular.js apps.
  • Example with multiple ignores: html5validator --root tests/multiple_ignores/ --ignore-re 'Attribute "ng-[a-z-]+" not allowed' 'Start tag seen without seeing a doctype first'


Install a particular version, for example 0.1.14, with pip install html5validator==0.1.14.

  • master
  • 0.3.3 (2019-12-07)
  • 0.3.2 (2019-11-22)
  • 0.3.1 (2018-06-01)
    • update vnu jar to 18.3.0
    • pass remaining command line options to vnu.jar
    • allow to match multiple file patterns, e.g. --match *.html *.css
  • 0.3.0 (2018-01-21)
    • update vnu jar to 17.11.1
    • support explicit list of files: html5validator file1.html file2.html
    • new command line options: --no-langdetect, --format
    • new tests for --show-warnings flag
    • refactored internal API
    • bugfix: check existence of Java
    • bugfix: split Java and vnu.jar command line options
  • 0.2.8 (2017-09-08)
    • update vnu jar to 17.9.0
    • suppress a warning from the JDK about picked up environment variables
  • 0.2.7 (2017-04-09)
    • update vnu jar to 17.3.0
    • lint Python code
  • 0.2.5 (2016-07-30)
    • clamp CLI return value at 255: PR26
  • 0.2.4 (2016-07-14)
    • a fix for Cygwin thanks to this PR20
  • 0.2.3 (2016-07-05)
    • vnu.jar updated to 16.6.29 thanks to this PR
  • 0.2.2 (2016-04-30)
    • vnu.jar updated to 16.3.3
  • 0.2.1 (2016-01-25)
    • --ignore, --ignore-re: ignore messages containing an exact pattern or matching a regular expression (migration from version 0.1.14: replace --ignore with --ignore-re)
    • curly quotes and straight quotes can now be used interchangeably
    • change Java stack size handling (introduced the new command line options -l, -ll and -lll)
    • update vnu.jar to 16.1.1 (which now requires Java 8)
  • 0.1.14 (2015-10-09)
    • change text encoding handling
    • adding command line arguments --log and --version
  • 0.1.12 (2015-05-07)
    • document how to specify multiple regular expressions to be ignored
    • add --ignore as command line argument. Takes a regular expression for warnings and errors that should be ignored.
  • 0.1.9 (2015-03-02)