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Gradually improve your code with RuboCop.


>= 1.2.0, < 2.0
~> 3.0
~> 1.10
>= 2.2.2, < 4.0
~> 1.0
 Project Readme

RuboCop Gradual

Gem Version Build

RuboCop Gradual is a tool that helps track down and fix RuboCop offenses in your code gradually. It's a more flexible alternative to RuboCop's --auto-gen-config option.

RuboCop Gradual:

  • generates the lock file with all RuboCop offenses and uses hashes to track each offense line by line
  • automatically updates the lock file on every successful run, but returns errors on new offenses
  • does not prevent your editor from showing ignored offenses

Gain full control of gradual improvements: just add rubocop-gradual and use it as proxy for rubocop.

Sponsored by Evil Martians


Install the gem and add to the application's Gemfile by executing:

$ bundle add rubocop-gradual

Run RuboCop Gradual to create a lock file (defaults to .rubocop_gradual.lock):

$ rubocop-gradual

Commit the lock file to the project repository to keep track of all non-fixed offenses.

Run rubocop-gradual before commiting changes to update the lock file. RuboCop Gradual will keep updating the lock file to keep track of all non-fixed offenses, but it will throw an error if there are any new offenses.


Proposed workflow:

  • Remove rubocop_todo.yml if it exists.
  • Run rubocop-gradual to generate a lock file and commit it to the project repository.
  • Add rubocop-gradual --check to your CI pipeline instead of rubocop/standard. It will throw an error if the lock file is out of date.
  • Run rubocop-gradual to update the lock file, or rubocop-gradual -a to run autocorrection for all new and changed files and then update the lock file.
  • Optionally, add rubocop-gradual as a pre-commit hook to your repository (using lefthook, for example).
  • RuboCop Gradual will throw an error on any new offense, but if you really want to force update the lock file, run rubocop-gradual --force-update.

Available options

    -U, --force-update               Force update Gradual lock file.
        --check                      Check Gradual lock file is up-to-date.
    -a, --autocorrect                Autocorrect offenses (only when it's safe).
    -A, --autocorrect-all            Autocorrect offenses (safe and unsafe).
        --gradual-file FILE          Specify Gradual lock file.
    -v, --version                    Display version.
    -h, --help                       Prints this help.

Rake tasks

To use built-in Rake tasks add the following to your Rakefile:

# Rakefile
require "rubocop/gradual/rake_task"


This will add rake tasks:

bundle exec rake -T
rake rubocop_gradual                  # Run RuboCop Gradual
rake rubocop_gradual:autocorrect      # Run RuboCop Gradual with autocorrect (only when it's safe)
rake rubocop_gradual:autocorrect_all  # Run RuboCop Gradual with autocorrect (safe and unsafe)
rake rubocop_gradual:check            # Run RuboCop Gradual to check the lock file
rake rubocop_gradual:force_update     # Run RuboCop Gradual to force update the lock file

It's possible to customize the Rake task name and options:

# Rakefile

require "rubocop/gradual/rake_task"

RuboCop::Gradual::RakeTask.new(:custom_task_name) do |task|
  task.options = %w[--gradual-file custom_gradual_file.lock]
  task.verbose = false

Partial linting (experimental)

RuboCop Gradual supports partial linting. It's useful when you want to run RuboCop Gradual on a subset of files, for example, on changed files in a pull request:

rubocop-gradual path/to/file # run `rubocop-gradual` on a subset of files
rubocop-gradual --staged # run `rubocop-gradual` on staged files
rubocop-gradual --unstaged # run `rubocop-gradual` on unstaged files
rubocop-gradual --commit origin/main # run `rubocop-gradual` on changed files since the commit

# it's possible to combine options with autocorrect:
rubocop-gradual --staged --autocorrect # run `rubocop-gradual` with autocorrect on staged files

Require mode (experimental)

RuboCop Gradual can be used in "Require mode", which is a way to replace rubocop with rubocop-gradual:

# .rubocop.yml

  - rubocop/gradual/patch

Now base rubocop command will run rubocop-gradual:

rubocop # run `rubocop-gradual`
rubocop -a # run `rubocop-gradual` with autocorrect (only when it's safe)
rubocop -A # run `rubocop-gradual` with autocorrect (safe and unsafe)
rubocop gradual check # run `rubocop-gradual` to check the lock file
rubocop gradual force_update # run `rubocop-gradual` to force update the lock file

To set a custom path to Gradual lock file, add --gradual-file FILE to a special .rubocop-gradual file:

# .rubocop-gradual
--rubocop-gradual-file path/to/my_lock_file.lock

To temporarily disable RuboCop Gradual, prepend command with NO_GRADUAL=1:

NO_GRADUAL=1 rubocop # run `rubocop`


  • RuboCop TODO file. Comes out of the box with RuboCop. Provides a way to ignore offenses on the file level, which is problematic since it is possible to introduce new offenses without any signal from linter.
  • Pronto. Checks for offenses only on changed files. Does not provide a way to temporarily ignore offenses.
  • Betterer. Universal test runner that helps make incremental improvements witten in JavaScript. RuboCop Gradual is highly inspired by Betterer.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/skryukov/rubocop-gradual


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.