Using PyLint to check Python code

PyLint, a widely-used tool that checks for errors in Python code and encourages good Python coding patterns, is integrated into Visual Studio for Python projects.

Just right-click a Python project in Solution Explorer and select Python > Run PyLint...:

PyLint command on context menu for Python projects

Using the commands prompt you to install PyLint into your active environment if needed.

PyLint warnings and errors appear in the Error List window:

PyLint error list

Double-clicking an error takes you to directly to the source code that generated the issue.


See the PyLint features reference for a detailed list of all the PyLint output messages.

Setting PyLint command-line options

The command line options section of the PyLint documentation describes how to control PyLint's behavior through a .pylintrc configuration file. Such a file can be placed in the root of a Python project in Visual Studio, or elsewhere depending on how widely you want those settings applied.

For example, to suppress the "missing docstring" warnings shown in the previous image with a .pylintrc file in a project, do the following:

  1. On the command line, navigate to your project root (where you'll find your .pyproj file) and run the following command to generate a commented configuration file:

    pylint --generate-rcfile > .pylintrc
  2. In Visual Studio Solution Explorer, right-click your project, select Add > Exiting Item..., navigate to and select the new .pylintrc file, and select Add.

  3. Open the file for editing, and you'll see a variety of settings you can work with. To disable a warning, locate the [MESSAGES CONTROL] section, then locate the disable setting below that. You'll see a long string of specific messages, to which you can append whichever warnings you want. In the example here, append ,missing-docstring (including the delineating comma).

  4. Save the .pylintrc file and re-run PyLint to see that the warnings are now suppressed.