Skip to main content

This version of GitHub Enterprise was discontinued on 2023-07-06. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

query format

Autoformat QL source code.

GitHub CodeQL is licensed on a per-user basis upon installation. You can use CodeQL only for certain tasks under the license restrictions. For more information, see "About the CodeQL CLI."

If you have a GitHub Advanced Security license, you can use CodeQL for automated analysis, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. For more information, see "About GitHub Advanced Security."

This content describes the most recent release of the CodeQL CLI. For more information about this release, see

To see details of the options available for this command in an earlier release, run the command with the --help option in your terminal.


codeql query format [--output=<file>] [--in-place] [--backup=<ext>] <options>... -- <file>...


Autoformat QL source code.

Primary options


One or more .ql or .qll source files to autoformat. A dash can be specified to read from standard input.

-o, --output=<file>

Write the formatted QL code to this file instead of the standard output stream. Must not be given if there is more than one input.

-i, --[no-]in-place

Overwrite each input file with a formatted version of its content.


Instead of writing output, exit with status 1 if any input files differ from their correct formatting. A message telling which files differed will be printed to standard error unless you also give -qq.

-b, --backup=<ext>

When writing a file that already exists, rename the existing file to a backup by appending this extension to its name. If the backup file already exists, it will be silently deleted.


If an input file is not syntactically correct QL, pretend that it is already correctly formatted. (Usually such a file causes the command to terminate with an error message).

Common options

-h, --help

Show this help text.


[Advanced] Give option to the JVM running the command.

(Beware that options containing spaces will not be handled correctly.)

-v, --verbose

Incrementally increase the number of progress messages printed.

-q, --quiet

Incrementally decrease the number of progress messages printed.


[Advanced] Explicitly set the verbosity level to one of errors, warnings, progress, progress+, progress++, progress+++. Overrides -v and -q.


[Advanced] Write detailed logs to one or more files in the given directory, with generated names that include timestamps and the name of the running subcommand.

(To write a log file with a name you have full control over, instead give --log-to-stderr and redirect stderr as desired.)