#The stylelint Node API

The stylelint module includes a lint() function that provides the Node API.

  .then(function(resultObject) { .. });


stylelint is an npm package. Install it using:

npm install stylelint


Options is an object with the following properties.

Though both files and code are "optional", you must have one and cannot have both. All other options are optional.


A CSS string to be linted.


If using code to pass a source string directly, you can use codeFilename to associate that code with a particular filename.

This can be useful, for example, when making a text editor plugin that passes in code directly but needs to still use the configuration's ignoreFiles functionality to possibly ignore that code.


A stylelint configuration object.

If no config or configFile is passed, stylelint will use a config lookup algorithm to find the correct config.


An absolute path to the directory that relative paths defining extends and plugins are relative to.

If the config object passed uses relative paths, e.g. for extends or plugins, you are going to have to pass a configBasedir. If not, you do not need this.


The path to a JSON, YAML, or JS file that contains your stylelint configuration object.

It should be either absolute or relative to the directory that your process is running from (process.cwd()). We'd recommend absolute.


A partial stylelint configuration object whose properties will override the existing config object, whether that config was loaded via the config option or a .stylelintrc file.

The difference between the configOverrides and config options is this: If any config object is passed, stylelint does not bother looking for a .stylelintrc file and instead just uses whatever config object you've passed; but if you want to both load a .stylelintrc file and override specific parts of it, configOverrides does just that.


A file glob, or array of file globs. Ultimately passed to node-glob to figure out what files you want to lint.

Relative globs are considered relative to process.cwd().

By default, all node_modules and bower_components are ignored.


Options: "json"|"string"|"verbose", or a function. Default is "json".

Specify the formatter that you would like to use to format your results.

If you pass a function, it must fit the signature described in the Developer Guide.


If true, all disable comments (e.g. /* stylelint-disable block-no-empty */) will be ignored.

You can use this option to see what your linting results would be like without those exceptions.


If true, stylelint will not automatically ignore the contents of node_modules and bower_components. (By default, these directories are automatically ignored.)


Store the info about processed files in order to only operate on the changed ones the next time you run stylelint. Enabling this option can dramatically improve stylelint's speed, because only changed files will be linted.

By default, the cache is stored in .stylelintcache in process.cwd(). To change this, use the cacheLocation option.

Note: If you run stylelint with cache and then run stylelint without cache, the .stylelintcache file will be deleted. This is necessary because we have to assume that .stylelintcache was invalidated by that second command.


A path to a file or directory to be used for cache. Only meaningful alongside cache. If no location is specified, .stylelintcache will be created in process.cwd().

If a directory is specified, a cache file will be created inside the specified folder. The name of the file will be based on the hash of process.cwd() (e.g. .cache_hashOfCWD). This allows stylelint to reuse a single location for a variety of caches from different projects.

Note: If the directory of cacheLocation does not exist, make sure you add a trailing / on *nix systems or \ on Windows. Otherwise, the path will be assumed to be a file.


If true, ignoreDisables will also be set to true and the returned data will contain a needlessDisables property, whose value is an array of objects, one for each source, with tells you which stylelint-disable comments are not blocking a lint violation.

Use this report to clean up your codebase, keeping only the stylelint-disable comments that serve a purpose.

The recommended way to use this option is through the CLI. It will output a clean report to the console.


A path to a file containing patterns describing files to ignore. The path can be absolute or relative to process.cwd(). By default, stylelint looks for .stylelintignore in process.cwd(). See Configuration.


Options: "scss"|"less"|"sugarss"

Specify a non-standard syntax that should be used to parse source stylesheets.

If you do not specify a syntax, non-standard syntaxes will be automatically inferred by the file extensions .scss, .less, and .sss.

See the customSyntax option below if you would like to use stylelint with a custom syntax.


An absolute path to a custom PostCSS-compatible syntax module.

Note, however, that stylelint can provide no guarantee that core rules will work with syntaxes other than the defaults listed for the syntax option above.


If true, stylelint will fix as many errors as possible. The fixes are made to the actual source files. All unfixed errors will be reported. See Autofixing errors docs.

#The returned promise

stylelint.lint() returns a Promise that resolves with an object containing the following properties:


Boolean. If true, at least one rule with an "error"-level severity registered a violation.


A string displaying the formatted violations (using the default formatter or whichever you passed).


An array containing all the PostCSS LazyResults that were accumulated during processing.


An array containing all the stylelint result objects (the objects that formatters consume).

#Syntax errors

stylelint.lint() does not reject the Promise when your CSS contains syntax errors. It resolves with an object (see The returned promise) that contains information about the syntax error.

#Usage examples

If myConfig contains no relative paths for extends or plugins, you do not have to use configBasedir:

  config: myConfig,
  files: "all/my/stylesheets/*.css"
  .then(function(data) {
    // do things with data.output, data.errored,
    // and data.results
  .catch(function(err) {
    // do things with err e.g.

If myConfig does contain relative paths for extends or plugins, you do have to use configBasedir:

  config: myConfig,
  configBasedir: path.join(__dirname, "configs"),
  files: "all/my/stylesheets/*.css"
}).then(function() { .. });

Maybe you want to use a CSS string instead of a file glob, and you want to use the string formatter instead of the default JSON:

  code: "a { color: pink; }",
  config: myConfig,
  formatter: "string"
}).then(function() { .. });

Maybe you want to use my own custom formatter function and parse .scss source files:

  config: myConfig,
  files: "all/my/stylesheets/*.scss",
  formatter: function(stylelintResults) { .. },
  syntax: "scss"
}).then(function() { .. });

The same pattern can be used to read Less or SugarSS syntax.