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A flake8 plugin that helps you write tidier imports.

Project description


A flake8 plugin that helps you write tidier imports.


Install from pip with:

python -m pip install flake8-tidy-imports

Python 3.5 to 3.8 supported.

When installed it will automatically be run as part of flake8; you can check it is being picked up with:

$ flake8 --version
3.7.9 (flake8-tidy-imports: 3.1.0, mccabe: 0.6.1, pycodestyle: 2.5.0, pyflakes: 2.1.1) CPython 3.8.0 on Darwin



Config for rule I251 (see below). A map where each line is a banned import string, followed by ‘=’, then the message to use when encountering that banned import. Note that despite the name, you can ban imported objects too, since the syntax is the same, such as decimal.Decimal.

There is also a special directive to ban a preselected list of removed/moved modules between Python 2 and Python 3, recommending replacements, from six where possible. It can be turned on by adding {python2to3} to the list of banned-modules.

Whilst the option can be passed on the commandline, it’s much easier to configure it in your config file, such as setup.cfg, for example:

banned-modules = mock = use unittest.mock!
                 urlparse = use six.moves.urllib.parse!


Enables rule I252, which bans relative imports. See below.

ban-relative-imports = true


N.B. Before version 4.0.0, the rule codes were numbered 50 less, e.g. I250 was I200. They were changed in Issue #106 due to conflict with flake8-import-order.

I250: Unnecessary import alias

Complains about unnecessary import aliasing of three forms:

  • import foo as foo -> import foo
  • import as bar -> from foo import bar
  • from foo import bar as bar -> from foo import bar

The message includes the suggested rewrite (which may not be correct at current), for example:

$ flake8 I250 Unnecessary import alias - rewrite as 'from foo import bar'.

I251: Banned import ‘foo’ used

Complains about importing of banned imports. This might be useful when refactoring code, for example when moving from Python 2 to 3. By default there are no imports banned - you should configure them with banned-modules as described above in ‘Options’.

The message includes a user-defined part that comes from the configuration. For example:

$ flake8 I251 Banned import 'mock' used - use unittest.mock instead.

I252: Relative imports are banned.

Complains about use of relative imports:

  • from . import foo
  • from .bar import foo

Needs enabling with ban-relative-imports configuration option.

See also

For more advanced control of imports in your project, try import-linter.


4.1.0 (2020-03-25)

  • Make {python2to3} ban functools.wraps in favour of six.wraps.

4.0.1 (2020-03-24)

  • Fix cStringIO message for {python2to3} built-in banned-modules. Previously it looked for cStringIO.cStringIO which seems to never have existed.

4.0.0 (2020-01-04)

  • Add 50 to all rule codes to avoid conflict with flake8-import-order. This means rule I200 is now I250, etc.

    If you have configured flake8’s select or ignore options, you may need to update it to keep the flake8-tidy-imports rules active.

3.1.0 (2019-11-15)

  • Support Python 3.8.
  • Converted setuptools metadata to configuration file. This meant removing the __version__ attribute from the package. If you want to inspect the installed version, use importlib.metadata.version("flake8-tidy-imports") (docs / backport).
  • Add dependency on importlib-metadata.

3.0.0 (2019-10-15)

  • Add rule I202 to ban relative imports, when activated with the new ban-relative-imports configuration option.
  • Update Python support to 3.5-3.7, as 3.4 has reached its end of life.
  • Update Flake8 support to 3.0+ only. 3.0.0 was released in 2016 and the plugin hasn’t been tested with it since.

2.0.0 (2019-02-02)

  • Drop Python 2 support, only Python 3.4+ is supported now.

1.1.0 (2017-07-10)

  • Added a big list of python 2 to 3 import bans for I201, which can be activated by adding {python2to3} to the banned-modules option.

1.0.6 (2017-03-07)

  • Fixed the whitespace in the help message for --banned-modules.

1.0.5 (2017-01-13)

  • Changed the error message for I201 to be about the banned import instead of module.
  • Fix a bug introduced in 1.0.4 that broke parsing relative imports.

1.0.4 (2017-01-12)

  • Don’t allow installation with Flake8 3.2.0 which doesn’t enable the plugin. This bug was fixed in Flake8 3.2.1.
  • Use the most specific message available for a banned import.

1.0.3 (2016-11-05)

  • Fixed reading config from flake8 3+

1.0.2 (2016-07-04)

  • Fixed I201 rule to detect banned imports like from x import y.

1.0.1 (2016-07-01)

  • I201 rule that allows you to configure complaining about certain modules being imported, e.g. if you are moving from Python 2 to 3 you could stop urlparse being imported in favour of six.moves.urllib.parse.

1.0.0 (2016-01-23)

  • First release on PyPI.
  • I200 rule that complains about unnecessary import aliasing, e.g. from foo import bar as bar.

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