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A flake8 plugin that helps you write tidier imports.

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A flake8 plugin that helps you write tidier imports.


Install from pip with:

python -m pip install flake8-tidy-imports

Python 3.6 to 3.9 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

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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

(If you want to ban absolute imports, put your project’s modules in banned-modules.)


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.

Absolute imports are recommended by PEP8:

Absolute imports are recommended, as they are usually more readable and tend to be better behaved…

See also

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

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