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Linting SQL files

Linting is the automated checking of your code for programmatic and stylistic errors performed by running a ‘linter’. The linter will analyse your code and output error messages to the terminal. Linters should be run from the root of the repository, i.e., the create-a-derived-table directory.

To lint a single SQL file, run:

sqlfluff lint .../path/to/sql/file.sql

Or a whole directory of SQL files by running:

sqlfluff lint .../path/to/sql/directory/

SQLFluff is a formatter as well as a linter. That means you can use it to edit your SQL files to match the linting rules. To format SQL files using SQLFluff replace lint in the commands above with fix.


The .sqlfluffignore file (found in the root of the repository) can be used to list files for SQLFluff to exclude from linting. This is only to be used if files continually fail linting, despite best efforts. To date this has only applied to complex macros. The default Jinja templater used by SQLFluff simply cannot deal with complex macros. The dbt templater should solve this issue, and we intend to trial it in the future.

This page was last reviewed on 7 August 2023. It needs to be reviewed again on 7 August 2024 by the page owner #ask-data-modelling .
This page was set to be reviewed before 7 August 2024 by the page owner #ask-data-modelling. This might mean the content is out of date.