Global PEP8 Git pre-commit check hook

Many fixup Git commits are for forgetting to check project code standards like:

  • PEP8 compliance
  • type annotation checks
  • clang-format

before git push. Eliminate this git commit fixup clutter by making a simple Git pre-commit hook that applies to all repositories. This precommit hook also does a simple check for YaML syntax.


This procedure is for Unix-like systems (Linux, MacOS) and native Windows. The script used is written in Python to make it OS agnostic.

Tell Git the directory for Git hooks:

git config --global core.hooksPath ~/.git/hooks

Create executable file ~/.git/hooks/pre-commit from this script.

This global pre-commit check hook does several things:

  1. get a list of Python file names that changed.
  2. check PEP8, mypy type hinting and that Python ≥ 3.7 breakpoint debug statements are not present.
  3. check YaML syntax
  4. Checks for trailing whitespaces in any code language

One can easily extend the concept of lint-checking for other programming languages.

Bypass checks

These checks can be bypassed at any time for a commit by:

git commit -n

override for a particular repo

Override this global pre-commit check, substituting a per-repo .git/hooks/pre-commit by in that repo directory typing:

git config core.hooksPath .git/hooks

For example, a website made of Markdown files may wish to run a local-link check via Linkchecker-Markdown.