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Command Line Interface (CLI)

You can use Stylelint on the command line. For example:

npx stylelint "**/*.css"

Use npx stylelint --help to print the CLI documentation.


The CLI accepts:

--allow-empty-input, --aei

The process exits without throwing an error when glob pattern matches no files. More info.


Path to a file or directory for the cache location. More info.


Strategy for the cache to use for detecting changed files. Can be either "metadata" or "content". More info.


Store the results of processed files so that Stylelint only operates on the changed ones. By default, the cache is stored in ./.stylelintcache in process.cwd(). More info.

--color, --no-color

Force enabling/disabling of color.


Absolute path to the directory that relative paths defining "extends" and "plugins" are relative to. Only necessary if these values are relative paths. More info.


Path to a JSON, YAML, or JS file that contains your configuration object. More info.


Specify a custom syntax to use on your code. More info.

--disable-default-ignores, --di

Disable the default ignores. Stylelint will not automatically ignore the contents of node_modules. More info.


Automatically fix, where possible, problems reported by rules. More info.

--formatter, -f | --custom-formatter

Specify the formatter to format your results. More info.

--ignore-disables, --id

Ignore stylelint-disable (e.g. /* stylelint-disable block-no-empty */) comments. More info.

--ignore-path, -i

Path to a file containing patterns that describe files to ignore. The path can be absolute or relative to process.cwd(). You can repeat the option to provide multiple paths. By default, Stylelint looks for .stylelintignore in process.cwd(). More info.

--ignore-pattern, --ip

Pattern of files to ignore (in addition to those in .stylelintignore).

--max-warnings, --mw

Set a limit to the number of warnings accepted. More info.

--output-file, -o

Path of file to write a report. Stylelint outputs the report to the specified filename in addition to the standard output.


Print the configuration for the given path. Stylelint outputs the configuration used for the file passed.

--quiet, -q

Only register problems for rules with an "error"-level severity (ignore "warning"-level). More info.

--report-descriptionless-disables, --rdd

Produce a report of the stylelint-disable comments without a description. More info.

--report-invalid-scope-disables, --risd

Produce a report of the stylelint-disable comments that used for rules that don't exist within the configuration object. More info.

--report-needless-disables, --rd

Produce a report to clean up your codebase, keeping only the stylelint-disable comments that serve a purpose. More info.


A filename to assign the input. More info.


Accept stdin input even if it is empty.

--version, -v

Show the currently installed version of Stylelint.

Usage examples

The CLI expects input as either a file glob or process.stdin. It outputs formatted results into process.stdout.

Be sure to include quotation marks around file globs.

Example A - recursive

Recursively linting all .css files in the foo directory:

stylelint "foo/**/*.css"

Example B - multiple file extensions

Linting all .css, .scss, and .sass files:

stylelint "**/*.{css,scss,sass}"

Example C - stdin

Linting stdin:

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

Example D - negation

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

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

Example E - caching

Caching processed .scss files foo directory:

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

Example F - writing a report

Linting all .css files in the foo directory, then writing the output to myTestReport.txt:

stylelint "foo/*.css" --output-file myTestReport.txt

Example G - specifying a config

Using bar/mySpecialConfig.json as config to lint all .css files in the foo directory and any of its subdirectories:

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

Example H - using a custom syntax

Recursively linting all .css files in the foo directory using a custom syntax:

stylelint "foo/**/*.css" --customSyntax path/to/my-custom-syntax.js

Example I - print on success

Ensure output on successful runs:

stylelint -f verbose "foo/**/*.css"

Exit codes

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

  • 1 - something unknown went wrong
  • 2 - there was at least one rule problem or CLI flag error
  • 78 - there was some problem with the configuration file