The style file for your project should be configured in the [tool.nitpick] table of the configuration file.

Possible configuration files (in order of precedence):

  1. .nitpick.toml

  2. pyproject.toml

The first file found will be used; the other files will be ignored.

If no style is configured, Nitpick will fail with an error message.

Run nipick init to create a config file (init: Initialise a configuration file).

To configure your own style, you can either use nitpick init:

$ nitpick init /path/to/your-style-file.toml

or edit your configuration file and set the style option:

style = "/path/to/your-style-file.toml"

You can set style with any local file or URL.

Remote style

Use the URL of the remote file.

If it’s hosted on GitHub, use any of the following formats:

GitHub URL scheme (github:// or gh://) pinned to a specific version:

style = "github://andreoliwa/nitpick@v0.35.0/nitpick-style.toml"
# or
style = "gh://andreoliwa/nitpick@v0.35.0/nitpick-style.toml"

The @ syntax is used to get a Git reference (commit, tag, branch). It is similar to the syntax used by pip and pipx:

If no Git reference is provided, the default GitHub branch will be used (for Nitpick, it’s develop):

style = "github://andreoliwa/nitpick/nitpick-style.toml"
# or
style = "gh://andreoliwa/nitpick/nitpick-style.toml"

# It has the same effect as providing the default branch explicitly:
style = "github://andreoliwa/nitpick@develop/nitpick-style.toml"
# or
style = "gh://andreoliwa/nitpick@develop/nitpick-style.toml"

A regular GitHub URL also works. The corresponding raw URL will be used.

style = ""

Or use the raw GitHub URL directly:

style = ""

You can also use the raw URL of a GitHub Gist:

style = ""

If your style is on a private GitHub repo, you can provide the token directly on the URL. Or you can use an environment variable to avoid keeping secrets in plain text.

# A literal token
style = "github://p5iCG5AJuDgY@some-user/a-private-repo@some-branch/nitpick-style.toml"

# Or reading the secret value from the MY_AUTH_KEY env var
style = "github://$MY_AUTH_KEY@some-user/a-private-repo@some-branch/nitpick-style.toml"


A literal token cannot start with a $. All tokens must not contain any @ or : characters.

Style inside Python package

The style file can be fetched from an installed Python package.

Example of a use case: you create a custom flake8 extension and you also want to distribute a (versioned) Nitpick style bundled as a resource inside the Python package (check out this issue: Get style file from python package · Issue #202).

Python package URL scheme is pypackage:// or py://:

style = "pypackage://some_python_package/styles/nitpick-style.toml"
# or
style = "py://some_python_package/styles/nitpick-style.toml"

Thanks to @isac322 for this feature.


Remote styles can be cached to avoid unnecessary HTTP requests. The cache can be configured with the cache key; see the examples below.

By default, remote styles will be cached for one hour. This default will also be used if the cache key has an invalid value.

Expiring after a predefined time

The cache can be set to expire after a defined time unit. Use the format cache = "<integer> <time unit>". Time unit can be one of these (plural or singular, it doesn’t matter):

  • minutes / minute

  • hours / hour

  • days / day

  • weeks / week

To cache for 15 minutes:

style = ""
cache = "15 minutes"

To cache for 1 day:

style = ""
cache = "1 day"


With this option, once the style(s) are cached, they never expire.

style = ""
cache = "forever"


With this option, the cache is never used. The remote style file(s) are always looked-up and a HTTP request is always executed.

style = ""
cache = "never"


The cache files live in a subdirectory of your project: /path/to/your/project/.cache/nitpick/. To clear the cache, simply remove this directory.

Local style

Using a file in your home directory:

style = "~/some/path/to/another-style.toml"

Using a relative path from another project in your hard drive:

style = "../another-project/another-style.toml"

Multiple styles

You can also use multiple styles and mix local files and URLs.

Example of usage: the [tool.nitpick] table on Nitpick’s own pyproject.toml.

style = [


The order is important: each style will override any keys that might be set by the previous .toml file.

If a key is defined in more than one file, the value from the last file will prevail.

Override a remote style

You can use a remote style as a starting point, and override settings on your local style file.

Use ./ to indicate the local style:

style = [

For Windows users: even though the path separator is a backslash, use the example above as-is. The “dot-slash” is a convention for Nitpick to know this is a local style file.