Use PyLint to check Python code

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac noVisual Studio 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.

Run PyLint

In Visual Studio, right-click a Python project in Solution Explorer and select Python and then Run PyLint: Screenshot of PyLint command on context menu for Python projects in solution explorer.

This command prompts you to install PyLint into your active environment if it's not already present.

PyLint warnings and errors appear in the Error List window: Screenshot showing the PyLint error list.

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


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

Set 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 (see the command-line options for details).

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

  1. On the command line, navigate to your project root (which has your .pyproj file) and run the following command to generate a commented configuration file:

    pylint --generate-rcfile > .pylintrc
  2. In the Solution Explorer window, right-click your project and select Add > Existing Item. Then go to the new .pylintrc file, select it, and select Add.

  3. Open the file for editing, which has several settings you can work with. To disable a warning, locate the [MESSAGES CONTROL] section, then locate the disable setting in that section. There's a long string of specific messages to which you can append whichever warnings you want. In the example here, append ,missing-docstring (including the outlining comma).

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


    To use a .pylintrc file from a network share, create an environment variable named PYLINTRC with the value of the filename on the network share using a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path or a mapped drive letter. For example, PYLINTRC=\\myshare\python\.pylintrc.