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Tools and configuration to locally simulate HoundCi checks

Initial Setup

In your Gemfile:

group :development do
  gem 'hound-tools', '~> 0.0.4', require: false

Create customizable RuboCop + Hound setup:

$ bundle exec hound-tools init

(NOTE: this runs rubocop --auto-gen, so it will disable all the offenses.)

Add new files to repository

Add the files to the repository:

git add .hound       # default Hound style guide and your overrides
git add .rubocop.yml # Rubocop-only config
git add .hound.yml   # Hound general style-checking config
git add .rubocop_merged_for_hound.yml # auto-generated Hound-only config (without Hound defaults)

Customizing your Rubocop/Hound setup

You should only be interested in these files:

  • .rubocop_todo.yml, which can be updated with bundle exec rubocop --auto-gen and then edited
  • .hound/overrides.yml, where you can override Hound's default rules or excludes
  • .rubocop_merged_for_hound.yml - you want to regenerate this and commit


Every time you modify .rubocop_todo.yml or .hound/overrides.yml, you'll want to regenerate .rubocop_merged_for_hound.yml with:

$ bundle exec hound-tools

(And then you'll want to add all 3 to the repository before doing anything else).

Once you have your style working, you can simulate Hound with almost 100% accuracy with:

bundle exec rubocop

(If this shows no offenses, check the .rubocop_todo.yml file for disabled rules.)


1) For quickly fixing most offenses, uncomment the 'auto-correct' ones in .rubocop_todo.yml simply run bundle exec rubocop -a

2) The RuboCop README has tips on setting up Rake, Guard, etc.

Why is this so complex?

Well, simply because Hound doesn't support the RuboCop inherited_from keys. And that's because Hound is avoiding touching the filesystem - which makes sense since it downloads files to memory from GitHub.

Also, since Hound internally loads it's defaults and does a "mini-merge" of the configurations, it needs a different setup than Rubocop.

I won't mention the clever hacks in Hound to side-step directory traversing and other messy issues (e.g. handling excludes).


1) Using only the default Hound settings (without being able to Hound-check them locally)

2) Copying the default Hound settings (.hound/defaults.yml) to .rubocop.yml and tweak them (but you loose the flexibility and control of using multiple files and the coolness of .rubocop_todo.yml with 'inherited_from')


  1. Fork it ([my-github-username]/hound-tools/fork )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request