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An extensible static analysis linter for the TypeScript language


An extensible linter for the TypeScript language.


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npm install -g tslint typescript
npm install tslint typescript

typescript is a peer dependency of tslint. This allows you to update the compiler independently from the linter. This also means that tslint will have to use the same version of tsc used to actually compile your sources.

Breaking changes in the latest dev release of typescript@next might break something in the linter if we haven't built against that release yet. If this happens to you, you can try:

  1. picking up tslint@next, which may have some bugfixes not released in tslint@latest (see release notes here).
  2. rolling back typescript to a known working version.

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Please ensure that the TypeScript source files compile correctly before running the linter.

TSLint is configured via a file named tslint.json. This file is loaded from the current path, or the user's home directory, in that order.

The configuration file specifies which rules are enabled and their options. These configurations may extend other ones via the "extends" field in tslint.json.

   * Possible values:
   * - the name of a built-in config
   * - the name of an NPM module which has a "main" file that exports a config object
   * - a relative path to a JSON file
  "extends": "tslint:latest",
  "rules": {
     * Any rules specified here will override those from the base config we are extending
    "no-constructor-vars": true
  "rulesDirectory": [
     * A list of relative or absolute paths to directories that contain custom rules.
     * See the Custom Rules documentation below for more details.

Built-in configs include tslint:latest and tslint:recommended. You may inspect their source here.

tslint:recommended is a stable, somewhat opinionated set of rules which we encourage for general TypeScript programming. This configuration follows semver, so it will not have breaking changes across minor or patch releases.

tslint:latest extends tslint:recommended and is continuously updated to include configuration for the latest rules in every TSLint release. Using this config may introduce breaking changes across minor releases as new rules are enabled which cause lint failures in your code. When TSLint reaches a major version bump, tslint:recommended will be updated to be identical to tslint:latest.

See the core rules list below for descriptions of all the rules.

usage: tslint [options] file ...


-c, --config          configuration file
--force               return status code 0 even if there are lint errors
-h, --help            display detailed help
-i, --init            generate a tslint.json config file in the current working directory
-o, --out             output file
-r, --rules-dir       rules directory
-s, --formatters-dir  formatters directory
-e, --exclude         exclude globs from path expansion
-t, --format          output format (prose, json, verbose, pmd, msbuild, checkstyle)  [default: "prose"]
--test                test that tslint produces the correct output for the specified directory
--project             path to tsconfig.json file
--type-check          enable type checking when linting a project
-v, --version         current version

tslint accepts the following command-line options:

-c, --config:
    The location of the configuration file that tslint will use to
    determine which rules are activated and what options to provide
    to the rules. If no option is specified, the config file named
    tslint.json is used, so long as it exists in the path.
    The format of the file is { rules: { /* rules list */ } },
    where /* rules list */ is a key: value comma-separated list of
    rulename: rule-options pairs. Rule-options can be either a
    boolean true/false value denoting whether the rule is used or not,
    or a list [boolean, ...] where the boolean provides the same role
    as in the non-list case, and the rest of the list are options passed
    to the rule that will determine what it checks for (such as number
    of characters for the max-line-length rule, or what functions to ban
    for the ban rule).
-e, --exclude:
    A filename or glob which indicates files to exclude from linting.
    This option can be supplied multiple times if you need multiple
    globs to indicate which files to exclude.
    Return status code 0 even if there are any lint errors.
    Useful while running as npm script.
-i, --init:
    Generates a tslint.json config file in the current working directory.
-o, --out:
    A filename to output the results to. By default, tslint outputs to
    stdout, which is usually the console where you're running it from.
-r, --rules-dir:
    An additional rules directory, for user-created rules.
    tslint will always check its default rules directory, in
    node_modules/tslint/lib/rules, before checking the user-provided
    rules directory, so rules in the user-provided rules directory
    with the same name as the base rules will not be loaded.
-s, --formatters-dir:
    An additional formatters directory, for user-created formatters.
    Formatters are files that will format the tslint output, before
    writing it to stdout or the file passed in --out. The default
    directory, node_modules/tslint/build/formatters, will always be
    checked first, so user-created formatters with the same names
    as the base formatters will not be loaded.
-t, --format:
    The formatter to use to format the results of the linter before
    outputting it to stdout or the file passed in --out. The core
    formatters are prose (human readable), json (machine readable)
    and verbose. prose is the default if this option is not used.
    Other built-in options include pmd, msbuild, checkstyle, and vso.
    Additional formatters can be added and used if the --formatters-dir
    option is set.
    Runs tslint on the specified directory and checks if tslint's output matches
    the expected output in .lint files. Automatically loads the tslint.json file in the
    specified directory as the configuration file for the tests. See the
    full tslint documentation for more details on how this can be used to test custom rules.
    The location of a tsconfig.json file that will be used to determine which
    files will be linted.
    Enables the type checker when running linting rules. --project must be
    specified in order to enable type checking.
-v, --version:
    The current version of tslint.
-h, --help:
    Prints this help message.
const Linter = require("tslint");
const fs = require("fs");
const fileName = "Specify file name";
const configuration = {
    rules: {
        "variable-name": true,
        "quotemark": [true, "double"]
const options = {
    formatter: "json",
    configuration: configuration,
    rulesDirectory: "customRules/",
    formattersDirectory: "customFormatters/"
const fileContents = fs.readFileSync(fileName, "utf8");
const linter = new Linter(fileName, fileContents, options);
const result = linter.lint();

To enable rules that work with the type checker, a TypeScript program object must be passed to the linter when using the programmatic API. Helper functions are provided to create a program from a tsconfig.json file. A project directory can be specified if project files do not lie in the same directory as the tsconfig.json file.

const program = Linter.createProgram("tsconfig.json", "projectDir/");
const files = Linter.getFileNames(program);
const results = => {
    const fileContents = program.getSourceFile(file).getFullText();
    const linter = new Linter(file, fileContents, options, program);
    return result.lint();

When using the CLI, the --project flag will automatically create a program from the specified tsconfig.json file. Adding --type-check then enables rules that require the type checker.

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Core rules are included in the tslint package.

  • align enforces vertical alignment. Rule options:
    • "parameters" checks alignment of function parameters.
    • "arguments" checks alignment of function call arguments.
    • "statements" checks alignment of statements.
  • arrow-parens requires parentheses around the parameters of arrow function definitions.
  • ban bans the use of specific functions. Options are ["object", "function"] pairs that ban the use of object.function(). An optional 3rd parameter may be provided (["object", "function", "Use 'object.otherFunc' instead."]) to offer an explanation as to why the function has been banned or to offer an alternative.
  • class-name enforces PascalCased class and interface names.
  • comment-format enforces rules for single-line comments. Rule options:
    • "check-space" enforces the rule that all single-line comments must begin with a space, as in // comment
      • note that comments starting with /// are also allowed, for things such as ///<reference>
    • "check-lowercase" enforces the rule that the first non-whitespace character of a comment must be lowercase, if applicable.
    • "check-uppercase" enforces the rule that the first non-whitespace character of a comment must be uppercase, if applicable.
  • curly enforces braces for if/for/do/while statements.
  • eofline enforces the file to end with a newline.
  • forin enforces a for ... in statement to be filtered with an if statement.
  • indent enforces indentation with tabs or spaces. Rule options (one is required):
    • "tabs" enforces consistent tabs.
    • "spaces" enforces consistent spaces.
  • interface-name enforces consistent interface names. Rule options:
    • "always-prefix" enforces interface names must have an 'I' prefix
    • "never-prefix" enforces interface names must not have an 'I' prefix
  • jsdoc-format enforces basic format rules for jsdoc comments -- comments starting with /**
    • each line contains an asterisk and asterisks must be aligned
    • each asterisk must be followed by either a space or a newline (except for the first and the last)
    • the only characters before the asterisk on each line must be whitespace characters
    • one line comments must start with /** and end with */
  • label-position enforces labels only on sensible statements.
  • label-undefined checks that labels are defined before usage.
  • linebreak-style checks that line breaks used in source files are either linefeed or carriage-return linefeeds. By default linefeeds are required. This rule accepts one parameter, either "LF" or "CRLF".
  • max-file-line-count sets the maximum number of lines for files.
  • max-line-length sets the maximum length of a line.
  • member-access enforces using explicit visibility on class members
    • "check-accessor" enforces explicit visibility on get/set accessors
    • "check-constructor" enforces explicit visibility on constructors
  • member-ordering enforces member ordering. The first option should be an object with an order key. Values for order can be fields-first, statics-first, instance-sandwich, or a custom order.
  • new-parens enforces parentheses when invoking a constructor via the new keyword.
  • no-angle-bracket-type-assertion disallows usages of <> type assertions in favor of using the as keyword.
  • no-any diallows usages of any as a type decoration.
  • no-arg disallows access to arguments.callee.
  • no-bitwise disallows bitwise operators.
  • no-conditional-assignment disallows any type of assignment in any conditionals. This applies to do-while, for, if, and while statements.
  • no-consecutive-blank-lines disallows having more than one blank line in a row in a file.
  • no-console disallows access to the specified functions on console. Rule options are functions to ban on the console variable.
  • no-construct disallows access to the constructors of String, Number, and Boolean.
  • no-constructor-vars disallows the public and private modifiers for constructor parameters.
  • no-debugger disallows debugger statements.
  • no-default-export disallows default exports in ES6-style modules. Use named exports instead.
  • no-duplicate-key disallows duplicate keys in object literals.
  • no-duplicate-variable disallows duplicate variable declarations in the same block scope.
  • no-empty disallows empty blocks.
  • no-eval disallows eval function invocations.
  • no-for-in-array disallows iterating over an array with a for-in loop (requires type checking).
  • no-inferrable-types disallows explicit type declarations for variables or parameters initialized to a number, string, or boolean.
    • ignore-params allows specifying an inferrable type as a function param
  • no-internal-module disallows internal module (use namespace instead).
  • no-invalid-this disallows using the this keyword outside of classes.
    • check-function-in-method disallows using the this keyword in functions within class methods.
  • no-mergeable-namespace disallows mergeable namespaces in the same file.
  • no-namespace disallows both internal modules and namespace, but allows ES6-style external modules.
    • allow-declarations allows declare namespace ... {} to describe external APIs.
  • no-null-keyword disallows use of the null keyword literal.
  • no-reference disallows /// <reference path=> imports (use ES6-style imports instead).
  • no-require-imports disallows invocation of require() (use ES6-style imports instead).
  • no-shadowed-variable disallows shadowed variable declarations.
  • no-string-literal disallows object access via string literals.
  • no-switch-case-fall-through disallows falling through case statements. As of TypeScript version 1.8, this rule can be enabled within the compiler by passing the --noFallthroughCasesInSwitch flag.
  • no-trailing-whitespace disallows trailing whitespace at the end of a line.
  • no-unreachable disallows unreachable code after break, catch, throw, and return statements. This rule is supported and enforced by default within the TypeScript compiler since version 1.8.
  • no-unused-expression disallows unused expression statements, that is, expression statements that are not assignments or function invocations (and thus no-ops). Combine with no-unused-new to disallow expressions containing the new keyword.
  • no-unused-new disallows unused expressions statements which include the new keyword.
  • no-unused-variable disallows unused imports, variables, functions and private class members. Rule options:
    • "check-parameters" disallows unused function and constructor parameters.
      • NOTE: this option is experimental and does not work with classes that use abstract method declarations, among other things. Use at your own risk.
    • "react" relaxes the rule for a namespace import named React (from either the module "react" or "react/addons"). Any JSX expression in the file will be treated as a usage of React (because it expands to React.createElement).
    • {"ignore-pattern": "pattern"} where pattern is a case-sensitive regexp. Variable names that match the pattern will be ignored.
  • no-use-before-declare disallows usage of variables before their declaration.
  • no-var-keyword disallows usage of the var keyword, use let or const instead.
  • no-var-requires disallows the use of require statements except in import statements, banning the use of forms such as var module = require("module").
  • object-literal-sort-keys checks that keys in object literals are declared in alphabetical order (useful to prevent merge conflicts).
  • one-line enforces the specified tokens to be on the same line as the expression preceding it. Rule options:
    • "check-catch" checks that catch is on the same line as the closing brace for try.
    • "check-else" checks that else is on the same line as the closing brace for if.
    • "check-finally" checks that finally is on the same line as the closing brace for the preceding try or catch.
    • "check-open-brace" checks that an open brace falls on the same line as its preceding expression.
    • "check-whitespace" checks preceding whitespace for the specified tokens.
  • one-variable-per-declaration disallows multiple variable definitions in the same statement.
    • "ignore-for-loop" allows multiple variable definitions in for loop statement.
  • only-arrow-functions disallows traditional function () { ... } declarations, preferring () => { ... } arrow lambdas.
  • quotemark enforces consistent single or double quoted string literals. Rule options (at least one of "double" or "single" is required):
    • "single" enforces single quotes.
    • "double" enforces double quotes.
    • "jsx-single" enforces single quotes for JSX attributes.
    • "jsx-double" enforces double quotes for JSX attributes.
    • "avoid-escape" allows you to use the "other" quotemark in cases where escaping would normally be required. For example, [true, "double", "avoid-escape"] would not report a failure on the string literal 'Hello "World"'.
  • radix enforces the radix parameter of parseInt.
  • restrict-plus-operands enforces the type of addition operands to be both string or both number (requires type checking).
  • semicolon enforces consistent semicolon usage at the end of every statement. Rule options:
    • "always" enforces semicolons at the end of every statement.
    • "never" disallows semicolons at the end of every statement except for when they are necessary.
  • switch-default enforces a default case in switch statements.
  • trailing-comma enforces or disallows trailing comma within array and object literals, destructuring assignment and named imports. Each rule option requires a value of "always" or "never". Rule options:
    • "multiline" checks multi-line object literals.
    • "singleline" checks single-line object literals.
  • triple-equals enforces === and !== in favor of == and !=.
    • "allow-null-check" allows == and != when comparing to null.
    • "allow-undefined-check" allows == and != when comparing to undefined.
  • typedef enforces type definitions to exist. Rule options:
    • "call-signature" checks return type of non-arrow functions.
    • "arrow-call-signature" checks return type of arrow functions.
    • "parameter" checks type specifier of function parameters for non-arrow functions.
    • "arrow-parameter" checks type specifier of function parameters for arrow functions.
    • "property-declaration" checks return types of interface properties.
    • "variable-declaration" checks variable declarations.
    • "member-variable-declaration" checks member variable declarations. For arrow functions being assigned as properties, either the property itself or the arrow functions parameters must have a typedef.
  • typedef-whitespace enforces spacing whitespace for type definitions. Each rule option requires a value of "nospace", "onespace" or "space" to require no space, exactly one or at least one space before or after the type specifier's colon. You can specify two objects containing the five options. The first one describes the left, the second one the right hand side of the typedef colon. To omit checks for either side, omit the second object or pass an empty object for the first. Rule options:
    • "call-signature" checks return type of functions.
    • "index-signature" checks index type specifier of indexers.
    • "parameter" checks function parameters.
    • "property-declaration" checks object property declarations.
    • "variable-declaration" checks variable declaration.
  • use-isnan enforces that you use the isNaN() function to check for NaN references instead of a comparison to the NaN constant.
  • use-strict enforces ECMAScript 5's strict mode.
    • check-module checks that all top-level modules are using strict mode.
    • check-function checks that all top-level functions are using strict mode.
  • variable-name checks variables names for various errors. Rule options:
    • "check-format": allows only camelCased or UPPER_CASED variable names
      • "allow-leading-underscore" allows underscores at the beginning.
      • "allow-trailing-underscore" allows underscores at the end.
      • "allow-pascal-case" allows PascalCase in addition to camelCase.
    • "ban-keywords": disallows the use of certain TypeScript keywords (any, Number, number, String, string, Boolean, boolean, undefined) as variable or parameter names.
  • whitespace enforces spacing whitespace. Rule options:
    • "check-branch" checks branching statements (if/else/for/while) are followed by whitespace.
    • "check-decl"checks that variable declarations have whitespace around the equals token.
    • "check-module" checks for whitespace in import & export statements.
    • "check-operator" checks for whitespace around operator tokens.
    • "check-separator" checks for whitespace after separator tokens (,/;).
    • "check-type" checks for whitespace before a variable type specification.
    • "check-typecast" checks for whitespace between a typecast and its target.

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You may enable/disable TSLint or a subset of rules within certain lines of a file with the following comment rule flags:

  • /* tslint:disable */ - Disable all rules for the rest of the file
  • /* tslint:enable */ - Enable all rules for the rest of the file
  • /* tslint:disable:rule1 rule2 rule3... */ - Disable the listed rules for the rest of the file
  • /* tslint:enable:rule1 rule2 rule3... */ - Enable the listed rules for the rest of the file
  • // tslint:disable-next-line - Disables all rules for the following line
  • someCode(); // tslint:disable-line - Disables all rules for the current line
  • // tslint:disable-next-line:rule1 rule2 rule3... - Disables the listed rules for the next line
  • etc.

Rules flags enable or disable rules as they are parsed. Disabling an already disabled rule or enabling an already enabled rule has no effect.

For example, imagine the directive /* tslint:disable */ on the first line of a file, /* tslint:enable:ban class-name */ on the 10th line and /* tslint:enable */ on the 20th. No rules will be checked between the 1st and 10th lines, only the ban and class-name rules will be checked between the 10th and 20th, and all rules will be checked for the remainder of the file.

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If we don't have all the rules you're looking for, you can either write your own custom rules or use custom rules that others have developed. The repos below are a good source of custom rules:

TSLint ships with a set of core rules that can be configured. However, users are also allowed to write their own rules, which allows them to enforce specific behavior not covered by the core of TSLint. TSLint's internal rules are itself written to be pluggable, so adding a new rule is as simple as creating a new rule file named by convention. New rules can be written in either TypeScript or JavaScript; if written in TypeScript, the code must be compiled to JavaScript before invoking TSLint.

Rule names are always camel-cased and must contain the suffix Rule. Let us take the example of how to write a new rule to forbid all import statements (you know, for science). Let us name the rule file noImportsRule.ts. Rules can be referenced in tslint.json in their kebab-case forms, so "no-imports": true would turn on the rule.

Now, let us first write the rule in TypeScript. A few things to note:

  • We import tslint/lib/lint to get the whole Lint namespace instead of just the Linter class.
  • The exported class must always be named Rule and extend from Lint.Rules.AbstractRule.
import * as ts from "typescript";
import * as Lint from "tslint/lib/lint";
export class Rule extends Lint.Rules.AbstractRule {
    public static FAILURE_STRING = "import statement forbidden";
    public apply(sourceFile: ts.SourceFile): Lint.RuleFailure[] {
        return this.applyWithWalker(new NoImportsWalker(sourceFile, this.getOptions()));
// The walker takes care of all the work.
class NoImportsWalker extends Lint.RuleWalker {
    public visitImportDeclaration(node: ts.ImportDeclaration) {
        // create a failure at the current position
        this.addFailure(this.createFailure(node.getStart(), node.getWidth(), Rule.FAILURE_STRING));
        // call the base version of this visitor to actually parse this node

Given a walker, TypeScript's parser visits the AST using the visitor pattern. So the rule walkers only need to override the appropriate visitor methods to enforce its checks. For reference, the base walker can be found in syntaxWalker.ts.

We still need to hook up this new rule to TSLint. First make sure to compile noImportsRule.ts:

tsc -m commonjs --noImplicitAny noImportsRule.ts node_modules/tslint/lib/tslint.d.ts

Then, if using the CLI, provide the directory that contains this rule as an option to --rules-dir. If using TSLint as a library or via grunt-tslint, the options hash must contain "rulesDirectory": "...". If you run the linter, you'll see that we have now successfully banned all import statements via TSLint!

Final notes:

  • Core rules cannot be overwritten with a custom implementation.
  • Custom rules can also take in options just like core rules (retrieved via this.getOptions()).

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Just like rules, additional formatters can also be supplied to TSLint via --formatters-dir on the CLI or formattersDirectory option on the library or grunt-tslint. Writing a new formatter is simpler than writing a new rule, as shown in the JSON formatter's code.

import * as ts from "typescript";
import * as Lint from "tslint/lib/lint";
export class Formatter extends Lint.Formatters.AbstractFormatter {
    public format(failures: Lint.RuleFailure[]): string {
        var failuresJSON = Lint.RuleFailure) => failure.toJson());
        return JSON.stringify(failuresJSON);

Such custom formatters can also be written in JavaScript. Formatter files are always named with the suffix Formatter and the exported class within the file must be named Formatter. A formatter is referenced from TSLint without its suffix.

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git clone
npm install

The next branch of this repo tracks the latest TypeScript compiler nightly release as a peerDependency. This allows you to develop the linter and its rules against the latest features of the language. Releases from this branch are published to npm with the next dist-tag, so you may install the latest dev version of TSLint via npm install tslint@next.

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  1. Bump the version number in package.json and src/tslint.ts
  2. Add release notes in
  3. Run grunt to build the latest sources
  4. Commit with message Prepare release <version>
  5. Run npm publish
  6. Create a git tag for the new release and push it (see existing tags here)