User Guide


  • npm install -g solium
  • cd myDapp
  • solium --init
  • solium -d contracts/ or solium -d . or solium -f myContract.sol

Fix code

  • solium -f myContract.sol --fix
  • git diff myContract.sol


Since this documentation is for Solium v1, we’re going to neglect v0. Furthermore, v0 is now deprecated and we highly recommend you to move to v1.

Use npm install -g solium.

Verify that all is working fine using solium -V.

Install from the snap store

In any of the supported Linux distros, sudo snap install solium --edge


If you’re using vim with syntastic, and prefer to use a locally installed version of Solium (rather than a global version), you can install syntastic local solium to automatically load the local version in packages that have installed their own.


cd to your DApp directory and run solium --init. This will produce .soliumrc.json and .soliumignore files in your root directory. Both are to be commited to version control.

Now run solium --dir . to lint all .sol files in your directory and sub-directories.

If you want to run the linter over a specific file, use solium --file myContract.sol.

You can also run solium so it watches your directory for changes and automatically re-lints the contracts: solium --watch --dir contracts/.

By default, solium looks for the .soliumrc.json configuration file in your current directory. You can override this setting by using the --config/-c option like solium -d contracts/ -c ../configs/.soliumrc.json.

Solium supports multiple output formats:

  • Pretty (Default): --reporter pretty
  • GCC: --reporter gcc

Use solium --help for more information on usage.


If all your contracts reside inside a directory like contracts/, you can instead run solium --dir contracts.


-d can be used in place of --dir and -f in place of --file.

You can specify rules or plugins to apply as commandline options. If you specify one, it overrides its corresponding configuration in the soliumrc file.

solium --plugin zeppelin --rule 'indentation: ["error", 4]' -d contracts/

Use --no-soliumrc and --no-soliumignore if you want to run solium in any arbitrary folder without looking for the config files.

solium --no-soliumrc --no-soliumignore --plugin zeppelin --rule 'indentation: ["error", 4]' -f contract.sol

After linting over your code, Solium produces either warnings, errors or both. The tool exits with a non-zero code only if 1 or more errors were found. So if all you got was warnings, solium exits with 0.

Whether an issue should be flagged as an error or warning by its rule is configurable through .soliumrc.json.

Configuring the Linter

Think of Solium as a 2-sided engine. 1 side accepts the Solidity smart contracts along with a configuration and the other a set of rule implementations.

Solium’s job is to execute the rules on the contracts based on the configuration!

You can configure solium in several ways. You can choose which all rules to apply on your code, what should their severity be (either error or warning) and you can pass them options to modify their behavior. Rule implementations will always contain default behavior, so its fine if you don’t pass any options to a rule.

Solium contains some core rules and allows for third party developers to write plugins.

The .soliumrc.json created in the initialisation phase contains some default configurations for you to get started.

        "extends": "BASE RULESET",
        "plugins": ["security"],
        "rules": {
                "RULE NAME": ["SEVERITY", "PARAMETERS"],
                "RULE NAME": "ONLY SEVERITY"
  • By default, soliumrc inherits solium:recommended (starting v1.1.3, prior to which it was solium:all) - the base ruleset which enables all non-deprecated rules recommended for general audience. You can replace the value by a sharable config’s name (see Sharable Configs).
  • A few rules are passed additional configuration, like double quotes for all strings, 4 spaces per indentation level, etc.
  • Solium comes bundled with its official security plugin. By default, this plugin is enabled. We recommend that you keep the security plugin enabled without modifying behaviour of any of its rules. But if you still wish to configure them or remove the plugin altogether, you can.


soliumrc must contain at least one of extends, plugins and rules properties.


Severity can be expressed either as a string or integer. error = 2, warning = 1. off = 0, which means the rule is turned off.

Configuring with comments

Comment Directives can be used to configure Solium to ignore specific pieces of code. They follow the pattern solium-disable<optional suffix>.

If you only use the directive, Solium disables all rules for the marked code. If that’s not desirable, specify the rules to disable after the directive, separated by comma.

  • Disable linting on a specific line
contract Foo {
        /* solium-disable-next-line */
        function() {
                var bar = 'Hello world';        // solium-disable-line quotes

                // solium-disable-next-line security/no-throw, indentation

        function func(string foo) {
                 * Below if block is intentionally empty but needs to be preceded by
                 * a doc comment.
                if (condition) {
                        // solium-disable-previous-line no-empty-blocks
  • Disable linting on entire file
/* solium-disable */

contract Foo {
  • Disable linting over a section of code with solium-enable directive
/* solium-disable */

contract Foo {

/* solium-enable */

contract Bar {

// solium-disable security/no-throw, indentation
contract Baz {
        // solium-enable security/no-throw

Automatic code formatting

For the times when you’re feeling lazy, just run solium -d contracts/ --fix to fix your lint issues. This doesn’t fix all the code problems but all lint issues that CAN be fixed WILL be fixed, if the rule implementation that flags the issue also contains a fix for it.

Alternatively, you can use the --fix-dry-run option to see the list of changes the linter intends to apply to your code. This option is only supported with the pretty reporter, which is enabled by default.


Solium fixes your code in-place, so your original file is over-written. It is therefore recommended that you use this feature after ensuring that your original files are easily recoverable (recovering can be as simple as git checkout). You have been warned.


It is not guaranteed that all the fixes will be applied to your contract code. Below is a brief explanation of why it is so. Skip to the next section if you don’t wish to know the details, they’re not necessary as long as you accept the idea.

How the autofix mechanism works is:

  • All rule implementations (either core or plugin) supply their fixes via the fix() method
  • All rules are executed on your solidity code and their provided fixes registered
  • The supplied fixes are then sorted. Starting from the 1st line & 1st character, the fix that wishes to manipulate code earlier gets applied earlier. So if fix A wants to start make changes from Line 1, Char 7 to Line 1 Char 15 and fix B starts at Line 2 Char 19, the order of fixes applied is A -> B.
  • In case of overlapping fixes, the one that comes later is discarded. If fix C wishes to make changes starting at Line 1 Char 9, it will result in a conflict with fix A in the previous point. In this case, A gets applied but C doesn’t. So even though we have a total of 3 fixes, only 2 get applied.


In case of the A, B, C example, its easy to conclude that if you run the linter with autofixing twice, you will have applied all 3 fixes. The first run applies A and B, whilst the second run will apply C as well, because this time there is no A to conflict with.


Fixes for all possible errors have not been implemented yet. Whichever rules have the fix mechanism (for eg- the quotes rule does) will apply it. More fixes will be added in future, you can see the list of rules below to know which rules are currently able to apply fixes. So if you see a warning/error despite using --fix, its because that issue wasn’t resolved by the autofix mechanism (either because the fix doesn’t exist at the moment or due to a conflict).

Sharable Configs

The list of rules in Solium will keep growing over time. After a point, its just overkill to spend time specifying rules, their severities and options in your soliumrc every time you create a new Solidity Project. At that time, you can either choose to inherit solium:recommended or solium:all configuration or borrow configurations written by others.

A Sharable Config allows you to borrow someone else’s soliumrc configuration. The idea is to simply pick a style to follow and focus on your business problem instead of making your own style specification.

Even if there are 1 or 2 rules that you disagree with in someone else’s sharable config, you can always inherit it and override those rules in your soliumrc!

Sharable Configs are installed via NPM. All solium SCs will have a prefix solium-config-. Distributors of sharable configs are encouraged to add solium and soliumconfig as tags in their NPM modules to make them more discoverable.

Suppose Consensys releases their own sharable config called solium-config-consensys. Here’s how you’d go about using it, assuming you already have solium globally installed:

  • Run npm install -g solium-config-consensys
  • Now, in your .soliumrc.json, set the value of extends key to consensys and remove the rules key altogether. Your config file should now look something like:
        "extends": "consensys"


The above assumes that you completely follow consensys’s style spec. If, say, you don’t agree with how they’ve configured a rule race-conditions. You can override this rule and add your own spec inside the rules key. This way, you follow all rules as specified in consensys’ sharable config except race-condition, which you specify yourself.

        "extends": "consensys",
        "rules": {
                "race-condition": ["error", {"reentrancy": true, "cross-function": false}, 100, "foobar"]

That’s it! Now you can run solium -d contracts/ to see the difference.

Note that you didn’t have to specify the prefix of the sharable config. Whether you’re specifying a config or a plugin name, you should omit their prefixes (solium-config- for configs & solium-plugin- for plugins). So if you have installed a config solium-config-foo-bar, you should have "extends": "foo-bar" in your .soliumrc.json. Solium will resolve the actual npm module name for you.


Internally, Solium simply require() s the config module. So as long as require() is able to find a module named solium-config-consensys, it doesn’t matter whether you install your config globally or locally and link it.


1 limitation here is that Sharable configs can currently not import Plugins. This means SCs can only configure the core rules provided by Solium. Plugin importing is a work in progress, please be patient!


Plugins allow Third party developers to write their own rules and re-distribute them via NPM. Every solium plugin module has the prefix solium-plugin-. Plugin developers are encouraged to include the tags solium and soliumplugin in their modules for easy discoverability.

Once you install a plugin, you can specify it inside plugins array and configure its rules inside rules exactly like how you configure solium’s core rules. Plugin rules too can contain fixes if the developer supplies them. There’s no special way of applying these fixes. Simply lint with the --fix option and fixes for both core rules and pugin rules will be applied to your code.

Coming back to our previous example - Consensys’ solium-plugin-consensys:

  • Install the plugin using npm install -g solium-plugin-consensys
  • Add the plugin’s entry into your .soliumrc.json:
        "extends": "solium:recommended",
        "plugins": ["consensys"]


Just like in sharable configs, don’t specify the plugin prefix. Simply specify the plugin name. So if a plugin exists on NPM by the name of solium-plugin-foo-bar, you need only specify "plugins": ["foo-bar"].

  • In the rules object, you can configure the plugin’s rules by adding an entry "<PLUGIN NAME>/<RULE NAME>": "<SEVERITY>" or "<PLUGIN NAME>/<RULE NAME>": ["<SEVERITY>", "<OPTIONS>"].
        "extends": "solium:recommended",
        "plugins": ["consensys"],
        "rules": {
                "consensys/race-conditions": "error",
                "consensys/foobar": [1, true, "Hello world"]
  • The above configuration means you’ve applied all the rules supplied by the plugin and modified the behaviour of 2 of them. Try running the linter using solium -d contracts/.

If you simply specify a plugin and do not configure any of its rules, all the rules provided by the plugin are applied on your code with their default severities and no additional options. If you wish to change the behaviour of any of the rules of a plugin, you have to configure them inside “rules”.

You should check the plugin’s documentation provided by the plugin developer to know the list of rules provided and the options they accept.


Just like in sharable configs, solium internally require() s the plugin module. So as long as require() is able to find a module named solium-plugin-consensys, it doesn’t matter whether you install your plugin globally or locally and link it.

List of Style Rules


See security plugin if you’re looking for documentation on Solium’s security rules.

Below is the list of style rules supplied by Solium. By default, solium:recommended is extended by your soliumrc, which enables all lint rules recommended for general audience (See solium-recommended). You can choose to further configure their severities inside your soliumrc itself. If you choose solium:all instead, all core rules are enabled except for the deprecated ones. Enabling a deprecated rule will display a warning message on Solium CLI.

These rules may or may not contain fixes. Their fixes will be applied on the code if you use the --fix flag in your lint command. Some rules even take options that can modify their behavior.

For eg- your choice of indentation might be Tab or 4 spaces or 2 spaces. What indentation is enforced is configurable.

Name Description Options Defaults Fixes
imports-on-top Ensure that all import statements are on top of the file
variable-declarations Ensure that names ‘l’, ‘O’ & ‘I’ are not used for variables Array of strings representing forbidden names. This overwrites the default names. [‘l’, ‘O’, ‘I’]  
array-declarations Ensure that array declarations don’t have space between the type and brackets
operator-whitespace Ensure that operators are surrounded by a single space on either side
conditionals-whitespace Ensure that there is exactly one space between conditional operators and parenthetic blocks
comma-whitespace Ensure that there is no whitespace or comments between comma delimited elements and commas
semicolon-whitespace Ensure that there is no whitespace or comments before semicolons
function-whitespace Ensure function calls and declaration have (or don’t have) whitespace in appropriate locations
lbrace Ensure that every if, for, while and do statement is followed by an opening curly brace ‘{‘ on the same line
mixedcase Ensure that all variable, function and parameter names follow the mixedCase naming convention
camelcase Ensure that contract, library, modifier and struct names follow CamelCase notation
uppercase Ensure that all constants (and only constants) contain only upper case letters and underscore
no-empty-blocks Ensure that no empty blocks exist. Exempts fallback and payable functions and payable constructors.
no-unused-vars Flag all the variables that were declared but never used
quotes Ensure that all strings use only 1 style - either double quotes or single quotes Single option - either “double” or “single” double YES
blank-lines Ensure that there is exactly a 2-line gap between Contract and Funtion declarations
indentation Ensure consistent indentation of 4 spaces per level either “tab” or an integer representing the number of spaces 4 spaces  
arg-overflow In the case of 4+ elements in the same line require they are instead put on a single line each Single integer representing the number of args to allow per line 4  
whitespace Specify where whitespace is suitable and where it isn’t
deprecated-suicide Suggest replacing deprecated ‘suicide’ for ‘selfdestruct’
pragma-on-top Ensure a) A PRAGMA directive exists and b) its on top of the file
function-order Ensure order of functions in a contract: constructor,fallback,external,public,internal,private Functions to ignore ( (See below)  
emit Ensure that emit statement is used to trigger a solidity event
no-constant Ensure that view is used over deprecated constant in function declarations
value-in-payable Ensure ‘msg.value’ is only used in functions with the ‘payable’ modifier
no-experimental Ensure that experimental features are not used in production
max-len Ensure that a line of code doesn’t exceed the specified number of characters Single integer representing the number of characters to allow per line of code 145  
error-reason Ensure that error message is provided for revert and require statements Object with “revert” and “require” keys with boolean values { “revert”: true, “require”: true }  
visibility-first Ensure that the visibility modifier for a function should come before any custom modifiers
linebreak-style Ensure consistent linebreak style linebreak style (either “windows” or “unix”) unix YES
constructor Ensure that the deprecated style of constructor declaration is not used     YES
no-trailing-whitespace Ensure that lines do not contain trailing whitespaces Object specifying whether to ignore blank lines or comments { “skipBlankLines”: false, “ignoreComments”: false }  

The following is an example of a configuration object passed to the function-order rule. See to understand its purpose and usage.

    "rules": {
        "function-order": [
                "ignore": {
                    "constructorFunc": true,
                    "fallbackFunc": true,
                    "functions": ["foo", "myFunc"],
                    "visibilities": ["private"]

Deprecated rules:

Name Description Options Defaults Fixes
double-quotes Ensure that string are quoted with double-quotes only. Replaced by “quotes”.
no-with Ensure no use of with statements in the code

Migrating to v1.0.0

If you’re currently using Solium v0 and wish to migrate to v1, then this section is for you.


If you simply upgrade to Solium v1 right now and lint your project with v0’s configuration files, it will work fine (but will give you a deprecation warning) since v1 has been built in a backward-compatible manner. The only 2 exception to this are the discontinuation of custom-rules-filename attribute and --sync option - these features provided negligible benefit.

What you need to do

Let’s say your current .soliumrc.json looks like this:

  "custom-rules-filename": null,
  "rules": {
    "imports-on-top": false,
    "variable-declarations": false,
    "array-declarations": true,
    "operator-whitespace": true,
    "lbrace": true,
    "mixedcase": true,
    "camelcase": true,
    "uppercase": true,
    "no-empty-blocks": true,
    "no-unused-vars": true,
    "quotes": true,
    "indentation": true,
    "whitespace": true,
    "deprecated-suicide": true,
    "pragma-on-top": true

Please change it to this:

  "extends": "solium:recommended",
  "rules": {
    "imports-on-top": 0,
    "variable-declarations": 0,
    "indentation": ["error", 4],
    "quotes": ["error", "double"]


  • Only had to specify those rules separately whose behaviour you need to change. Set a rule to 0 or off to turn it off. Other values can be 1/warning or 2/error.
  • Set up the indentation rule to enforce 4 spaces (replace 4 with any other integer or tab).
  • Instructed Solium to enforce double quotes for strings (change that to single if you so desire).
  • Instructed Solium to import all other non-deprecated rules and enable them by default.


Alternatively, you can back up your current .soliumrc.json and .soliumignore (if you made changes to it), then run solium init (after installing v1). You can then make changes to the new .soliumrc.json.

A complete list of changes made in v1 are documented below.

Custom Rule injection is now deprecated

v0 allows you to inject custom rule implementations using the custom-rules-filename attribute in your .soliumrc.json. This feature is now deprecated. If you specify a file, the linter would simply throw a warning informing you that the custom rules supplied will not be applied while linting.

Custom rule injection has now been replaced by Solium Plugins.

Deprecated rules

Following rules have been deprecated:

  • double-quotes has been replaced by quotes.
  • no-with

soliumrc configuration has a new format

A fully fledged example of v1’s .soliumrc.json is:

        "extends": "solium:recommended",
        "plugins": ["consensys", "foobar"],
        "rules": {
                "consensys/race-conditions": "error",
                "consensys/foobar": [1, true, "Hello world"],
                "foobar/baz": 1

To learn about the new format, please see Configuring the Linter.

Note that v1 still accepts the old soliumrc format but throws a format deprecation warning.

Rule implementation has a new format


Unless you’re developing rules (whether core or plugins) for Solium, you can skip this part.

The new format of a rule implementation is:

module.exports = {
        meta: {
                docs: {
                        recommended: true,
                        type: 'warning',
                        description: 'This is a rule'
                schema: [],
                fixable: 'code'

        create(context) {
                function lintIfStatement(emitted) {
                                node: emitted.node,
                                fix(fixer) {
                                        // magic

                return {
                        IfStatement: lintIfStatement

See an example on github.

Learn how to develop a Solium rule on the Developer Guide.

Additions in Solium API

There have been additions in the Solium API. However, there are no breaking changes.

  • When using the lint(sourceCode, config) method (where config is your soliumrc configuration), you can now pass an options object inside config to modify Linter behavior. You can specify the returnInternalIssues option whose value is Boolean. If true, solium returns internal issues (like deprecation warnings) in the error list. If false, the method behaves exactly like in v0, and doesn’t spit out any warnings (even if, for eg, you’re using deprecated rules).
const mySourceCode = '...',;
const config = {
        extends: "solium:recommended",
        plugins: ["security"],
        rules: {
                "double-quotes": "error"
        options: {
                returnInternalIssues: true

const errors = Solium.lint(mySourceCode, config);
// Now errors list contains a deprecated rule warning since "double-quotes" is deprecated.
// If returnInternalIssues were false, we wouldn't receive this warning.
  • The API now exposes another method lintAndFix(). Guess what it does? Please refer to the developer guide on how to use this method to retrieve lint errors as well as the fixed solidity code along with a list of fixes applied.

–sync has been removed

v0’s CLI allowed the --sync flag so a user could sync their .soliumrc.json with the newly added rules after updating solium. sync was not a great design choice and so we’ve removed it. v1 is designed in a way such that core developers can keep adding more rules to solium and a user doesn’t need to do anything apart from installing an update in order to use that rule. It gets applied automatically.