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Role models are important.
-- Officer Alex J. Murphy / RoboCop

RuboCop is a Ruby code style checker based on the Ruby Style Guide.


RuboCop's installation is pretty standard:

$ gem install rubocop

Basic Usage

Running rubocop with no arguments will check all Ruby source files in the current folder:

$ rubocop

Alternatively you can pass rubocop a list of files and folders to check:

$ rubocop app spec lib/something.rb

For more details check the available command-line options:

$ rubocop -h
Command flag Description
-v/--version Displays the current version and exits
-d/--debug Displays some extra debug output
-e/--emacs Output the results in Emacs format
-c/--config Run with specified config file
-s/--silent Suppress the final summary
--only Run only the specified cop


The behavior of RuboCop can be controlled via the .rubocop.yml configuration file. The file can be placed either in your home folder or in some project folder.

RuboCop will start looking for the configuration file in the directory where the inspected file is and continue its way up to the root folder.

The file has the following format:

inherit_from: ../.rubocop.yml

  Enabled: true

  Enabled: true
  Max: 79

It allows to enable/disable certain cops (checks) and to alter their behavior if they accept any parameters.

The optional inherit_from directive is used to include configuration from one or more files. This makes it possible to have the common project settings in the .rubocop.yml file at the project root, and then only the deviations from those rules in the subdirectories. The included files can be given with absolute paths or paths relative to the file where they are referenced. The settings after an inherit_from directive override any settings in the included file(s). When multiple files are included, the first file in the list has the lowest precedence and the last one has the highest. The format for multiple inclusion is:

  - ../.rubocop.yml
  - ../conf/.rubocop.yml


The file config/default.yml under the RuboCop home directory contains the default settings that all configurations inherit from. Project and personal .rubocop.yml files need only make settings that are different from the default ones. If there is no .rubocop.yml file in the project or home directory, config/default.yml will be used.

Disabling Cops within Source Code

One or more individual cops can be disabled locally in a section of a file by adding a comment such as

# rubocop:disable LineLength, StringLiterals
# rubocop:enable LineLength, StringLiterals

You can also disable all cops with

# rubocop:disable all
# rubocop:enable all

One or more cops can be disabled on a single line with an end-of-line comment.

for x in (0..19) # rubocop:disable AvoidFor

Including/Excluding files

RuboCop checks all files recursively within the directory it is run on. However, it does not recognize some files as Ruby(only files ending with .rb or extensionless files with a #!.*ruby declaration are automatically detected) files, and if you'd like it to check these you'll need to manually pass them in. Files and directories can also be ignored through .rubocop.yml.

Here is an example that might be used for a Rails project:

    - Rakefile
    - db/**
    - config/**
    - script/**

# other configuration
# ...

Note: Files and directories are specified relative to the .rubocop.yml file.


RuboCop supported only MRI 1.9 & MRI 2.0 prior to version 0.8. After RuboCop 0.8, JRuby and Rubinius in 1.9 modes are also supported.

Editor integration


rubocop.el is a simple Emacs interface for RuboCop. It allows you to run RuboCop inside Emacs and quickly jump between problems in your code.

flycheck > 0.9 also supports RuboCop and uses it by default when available.


The vim-rubocop plugin runs RuboCop and displays the results in Vim.

There's also a RuboCop checker in syntastic.

Sublime Text 2

If you're a ST2 user you might find the Sublime RuboCop plugin useful.

Other Editors

Here's one great opportunity to contribute to RuboCop - implement RuboCop integration for your favorite editor.

Guard integration

If you're fond of Guard you might like guard-rubocop. It allows you to automatically check Ruby code style with RuboCop when files are modified.


Here's a list of all the people who have contributed to the development of RuboCop.

I'm extremely grateful to each and every one of them!

I'd like to single out Jonas Arvidsson for his many excellent code contributions as well as valuable feedback and ideas!

If you'd like to contribute to RuboCop, please take the time to go through our short contribution guidelines.

Converting more of the Ruby Style Guide into RuboCop cops is our top priority right now. Writing a new cop is a great way to dive into RuboCop!

Of course, bug reports and suggestions for improvements are always welcome. GitHub pull requests are even better! :-)

Mailing List

If you're interested in everything regarding RuboCop's development, consider joining its Google Group.


RuboCop's changelog is available here.

Copyright (c) 2012-2013 Bozhidar Batsov. See LICENSE.txt for further details.