Apache Maven Checkstyle Plugin

The Checkstyle Plugin generates a report regarding the code style used by the developers. For more information about Checkstyle, see https://checkstyle.org/.

This version of the plugin uses Checkstyle 9.3 by default and requires Java 8. But you can upgrade the version used at runtime.

The plugin can be configured in the project's POM. Predefined rulesets available for use in this version of the plugin are: sun_checks.xml and google_checks.xml. You can also use a custom ruleset by specifying it in the plugin configuration.

Goals Overview

The Checkstyle Plugin has three goals:

  • checkstyle:checkstyle is a reporting goal that performs Checkstyle analysis and generates a report on violations.
  • checkstyle:checkstyle-aggregate is a reporting goal that performs Checkstyle analysis and generates an aggregate HTML report on violations in a multi-module reactor build.
  • checkstyle:check is a goal that performs Checkstyle analysis and outputs violations or a count of violations to the console, potentially failing the build. It can also be configured to re-use an earlier analysis.

Major Version Upgrade to version 3.0.0

Please note that the following parameters have been completely removed from the plugin configuration:

  • sourceDirectory: use sourceDirectories instead;
  • testSourceDirectory: use testSourceDirectories instead.


General instructions on how to use the Checkstyle Plugin can be found on the usage page. Some more specific use cases are described in the examples given below.

In case you still have questions regarding the plugin's usage, please have a look at the FAQ and feel free to contact the user mailing list. The posts to the mailing list are archived and could already contain the answer to your question as part of an older thread. Hence, it is also worth browsing/searching the mail archive.

If you feel like the plugin is missing a feature or has a defect, you can fill a feature request or bug report in our issue tracker. When creating a new issue, please provide a comprehensive description of your concern. Especially for fixing bugs it is crucial that the developers can reproduce your problem. For this reason, entire debug logs, POMs or most preferably little demo projects attached to the issue are very much appreciated. Of course, patches are welcome, too. Contributors can check out the project from our source repository and will find supplementary information in the guide to helping with Maven.


The following examples show how to use the Checkstyle Plugin in more advanced usecases: