Python switch for syntax checking

Jeff Duffy poster at
Fri Nov 19 19:46:35 CET 2004

Hi all.

  I've been wondering why python itself doesn't provide a switch to 
check a file for valid syntax. I know that you can currently call

python -c "import py_compile; py_compile.compile(r'')"

but in order to manage this effectively you have to add a shell alias, 
write a script, mess about with your editor, or what have you. This 
becomes yet another small annoyance I'd like to get rid of. I'm also 
aware of PyChecker and other lint like tools, but these run the code and 
often I don't want that.

Being able to do

python -s

and see any syntax errors would be a very useful thing. Is there a 
specific reason that this doesn't exist (or perhaps it does and I'm 
uninformed)? I don't see any relevant PEPs on the list, either.

Jeff Duffy

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