refurb - A tool for refurbishing and modernizing Python codebases

Created at: 2022-07-27 12:13:51
Language: Python
License: GPL-3.0


A tool for refurbishing and modernizing Python codebases.



for filename in ["file1.txt", "file2.txt"]:
    with open(filename) as f:
        contents =

    lines = contents.splitlines()

    for line in lines:
        if not line or line.startswith("# ") or line.startswith("// "):

        for word in line.split():
            print(f"[{word}]", end="")



$ refurb [FURB109]: Use `in (x, y, z)` instead of `in [x, y, z]` [FURB101]: Use `y = Path(x).read_text()` instead of `with open(x, ...) as f: y =` [FURB102]: Replace `x.startswith(y) or x.startswith(z)` with `x.startswith((y, z))` [FURB105]: Use `print() instead of `print("")`


Before installing, it is recommended that you setup a virtual environment.

$ pip3 install refurb
$ refurb folder/

Note: Refurb only supports Python 3.10. It can check Python 3.6 code and up, but Refurb itself must be ran through Python 3.10.

Explanations For Checks

You can use refurb --explain FURB123, where FURB123 is the error code you are trying to look up. For example:

$ refurb --explain FURB123
Don't cast a variable or literal if it is already of that type. For


name = str("bob")
num = int(123)


name = "bob"
num = 123

Ignoring Errors

Use --ignore 123 to ignore error 123. The error code can be in the form FURB123 or 123. This flag can be repeated.

The FURB prefix indicates that this is a built-in error. The FURB prefix is optional, but for all other errors (ie, ABC123), the prefix is required.

You can also use inline comments to disable errors:

x = int(0)  # noqa: FURB123
y = list()  # noqa

Here, noqa: FURB123 specifically ignores the FURB123 error for that line, and noqa ignores all errors on that line.

Configuring Refurb

In addition to the command line arguments, you can also add your settings in the pyproject.toml file. For example, the following command line arguments:

refurb --ignore 100 --load some_module --quiet

Corresponds to the following in your pyproject.toml file:

ignore = [100]
load = ["some_module"]
quiet = true

Now all you need to type is refurb! Supplying command line arguments will override any existing settings in the config file.

Using Refurb With pre-commit

You can use Refurb with pre-commit by adding the following to your .pre-commit-config.yaml file:

  - repo:
    rev: REVISION
      - id: refurb

Replacing REVISION with a version or SHA of your choosing (or leave it blank to let pre-commit find the most recent one for you).


Installing plugins for Refurb is very easy:

$ pip3 install refurb-plugin-example

Where refurb-plugin-example is the name of the plugin. Refurb will automatically load any installed plugins.

To make your own Refurb plugin, see the refurb-plugin-example repository for more info.

Writing Your Own Check

If you want to extend Refurb but don't want to make a full-fledged plugin, you can easily create a one-off check file with the refurb gen command.

Note that this command uses the fzf fuzzy-finder for getting user input, so you will need to install fzf before continuing.

Here is the basic overview for creating a new check using the refurb gen command:

  1. First select the node type you want to accept
  2. Then type in where you want to save the auto generated file
  3. Add your code to the new file

To get an idea of what you need to add to your check, use the --debug flag to see the AST representation for a given file (ie, refurb --debug Take a look at the files in the refurb/checks/ folder for some examples.

Then, to load your new check, use refurb --load

Note that when using --load, you need to use dots in your argument, just like importing a normal python module.


To setup locally, run:

$ git clone
$ cd refurb
$ make install
$ make install-local

Tests can be ran all at once using make, or you can run each tool on its own using make black, make flake8, and so on.

Unit tests can be ran with pytest or make test.

Since the end-to-end (e2e) tests are slow, they are not ran when running make. You will need to run make test-e2e to run them.

Why Does This Exist?

I love doing code reviews: I like taking something and making it better, faster, more elegant, and so on. Lots of static analysis tools already exist, but none of them seem to be focused on making code more elegant, more readable, or more modern. That is where Refurb comes in.

Refurb is heavily inspired by clippy, the built-in linter for Rust.

What Refurb Is Not

Refurb is not a style/type checker. It is not meant as a first-line of defense for linting and finding bugs, it is meant for making good code even better.