#The stylelint CLI


stylelint is an npm package. Install it using:

npm install stylelint --save-dev


stylelint --help prints the CLI documentation.

The CLI outputs formatted results into process.stdout, which you can read with your human eyes or pipe elsewhere (e.g. write the information to a file).


When you run commands similar to the examples below, be sure to include the quotation marks around file globs. This ensures that you can use the powers of globby (like the ** globstar) regardless of your shell.

Looking for .stylelintrc and linting all .css files in the foo directory:

stylelint "foo/*.css"

Looking for .stylelintrc and linting all <style> blocks within the .html files in the bar directory:

stylelint "bar/*.html"

Looking for .stylelintrc and linting stdin:

echo "a { color: pink; }" | stylelint

Using bar/mySpecialConfig.json as config to lint all .css files in the foo directory, then writing the output to myTestReport.txt:

stylelint "foo/*.css" --config bar/mySpecialConfig.json > myTestReport.txt

Using bar/mySpecialConfig.json as config, with quiet mode on, to lint all .css files in the foo directory and any of its subdirectories and also all .css files in the bar directory:

stylelint "foo/**/*.css" "bar/*.css" -q -f json --config bar/mySpecialConfig.json

Linting all .css files except those within docker subfolders, using negation in the input glob:

stylelint "**/*.css, !**/docker/**"

Caching processed .scss files in order to operate only on changed ones in the foo directory, using the cache and cache-location options:

stylelint "foo/**/*.scss" --cache --cache-location "/Users/user/.stylelintcache/"

stylelint will automatically infer the syntax. You can, however, force a specific syntax using the --syntax option. For example, linting all the .css files in the foo directory as Scss:

stylelint "foo/**/*.css" --syntax scss

stylelint can also accept a custom PostCSS-compatible syntax. To use a custom syntax, supply a syntax module name or path to the syntax file: --custom-syntax custom-syntax or --custom-syntax ./path/to/custom-syntax.

#Recursively linting a directory

To recursively lint a directory, using the ** globstar:

stylelint "foo/**/*.scss"

The quotation marks around the glob are important because they will allow stylelint to interpret the glob, using globby, instead of your shell, which might not support all the same features.

#Autofixing errors

With --fix option stylelint will fix as many errors as possible. The fixes are made to the actual source files. All unfixed errors will be reported.

Linting all .css files in the foo directory. And fixing source files if violated rules support autofixing:

stylelint "foo/*.css" --fix

Note: It's an experimental feature. It currently does not respect special comments for disabling stylelint within sources (e. g. /* stylelint-disable */). Autofixing will be applied regardless of these comments.

If you're using both these special comments and autofixing, please run stylelint twice as a temporary solution. On the first run, some violations could be missed, or some violations might be reported incorrectly.

For CSS with standard syntax, stylelint will use postcss-safe-parser to fix syntax errors.

#Troubleshooting configurations

With the --print-config option, stylelint outputs the configuration to be used for the file passed. When present, no linting is performed and only config-related options are valid.

#Syntax errors

The CLI informs you about syntax errors in your CSS. It uses the same format as it uses for linting violations. The error name is CssSyntaxError.

#Exit codes

The CLI can exit the process with the following exit codes:

  • 1: Something unknown went wrong.
  • 2: At least one rule with an "error"-level severity triggered at least one violations.
  • 78: There was some problem with the configuration file.
  • 80: A file glob was passed, but it found no files.