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CLI Arguments



Shortcut: -h

Prints a summary of this page.


Shortcut: -V

Print the version number.


Shortcut: -n

Don’t show dynamic progress updates. Progress is automatically disabled in CI environments.


Suppress configuration hints.


Run Knip using the Bun runtime (instead of Node.js).

Terminal window



Shortcut: -d

Show debug output.


Use this flag to get the count and execution time of potentially expensive functions in a table. Example:

Terminal window
Name size min max median sum
----------------------------- ---- -------- -------- -------- --------
findReferences 648 84.98 7698.61 96.41 70941.70
createProgram 2 6295.84 7064.68 6680.26 13360.52
glob 6 0.05 995.78 513.82 3150.87
findESLintDependencies 2 0.01 74.41 37.21 74.41
findGithubActionsDependencies 6 0.16 12.71 0.65 23.45
findBabelDependencies 2 0.00 38.75 19.37 38.75
Total running time: 5s (mem: 631.27MB)
  • name: the internal Knip function name
  • size: number of function invocations
  • min: the fastest invocation
  • max: the slowest invocation
  • median: the median invocation
  • sum the accumulated time of all invocations

This is not yet available in Bun, since it does not support performance.timerify (GitHub issue).


--config [file]

Use an alternative path for the configuration file. Default locations:

  • knip.json
  • knip.jsonc
  • .knip.json
  • .knip.jsonc
  • knip.js
  • knip.ts
  • package.json#knip

Shortcut: -c

--tsConfig [file]

Use an alternative path for the TypeScript configuration file.

Default location: tsconfig.json

--workspace [dir]

Lint a single workspace including its ancestor and dependent workspaces. The default behavior is to lint all configured workspaces.

Shortcut: -W

--directory [dir]

Default: cwd (current directory)

Run the process from a different directory.


Ignore .gitignore files.


When a repository is self-contained or private, you may want to include entry files when reporting unused exports:

Terminal window
knip --include-entry-exports

Also see includeEntryExports.


Getting false positives for exports consumed by external libraries? Try the --include-libs flag:

Terminal window
knip --include-libs

Also see external libs.


By default, Knip optimizes performance by adding eligible workspaces to existing TypeScript programs, based on the compatibility of their compilerOptions. Use this flag to disable this behavior and create one program per workspace.

You can see the behavior in action in debug mode. Look for messages like this:

Terminal window
[*] Installed 4 programs for 18 workspaces
[*] Analyzing used resolved files [P1/1] (78)



Lint only production source files. This excludes:

  • entry files defined by plugins:
    • test files
    • configuration files
    • Storybook stories
  • devDependencies from package.json

Read more at Production Mode.


Isolate workspaces and consider only direct dependencies. Implies production mode.

Read more at Production Mode.


Read more at auto-fix.


Enable caching.

Consecutive runs are 10-40% faster as the results of file analysis (AST traversal) are cached. Conservative. Cache strategy based on file meta data (modification time + file size).


Provide alternative cache location.

Default location: ./node_modules/.cache/knip


Watch current directory, and update reported issues when a file is modified, added or deleted.

Watch mode focuses on imports and exports in source files. During watch mode, changes in package.json and/or node_modules are not supported.


Available issue types when filtering output using --include or --exclude:

  • files
  • dependencies
  • optionalPeerDependencies
  • unlisted
  • unresolved
  • exports
  • nsExports
  • classMembers
  • types
  • nsTypes
  • enumMembers
  • duplicates


Exclude provided issue type(s) from report. Can be comma-separated or repeated.


Terminal window
knip --exclude classMembers,enumMembers
knip --exclude classMembers --exclude enumMembers


Report only provided issue type(s). Can be comma-separated or repeated.


Terminal window
knip --include files,dependencies
knip --include files --include dependencies


Shortcut to include all types of dependency issues:

Terminal window
--include dependencies,optionalPeerDependencies,unlisted,binaries,unresolved


Shortcut to include all types of export issues:

Terminal window
--include exports,nsExports,classMembers,types,nsTypes,enumMembers,duplicates


Deprecated. Use —tags instead.


Exports can be tagged with known or arbitrary JSDoc/TSDoc tags:

* Description of my exported value
* @type number
* @internal
* @custom Unimportant matters
export const myExport = 1;

And then include (+) or exclude (-) these tagged exports from the report like so:

Terminal window
knip --tags=+custom
knip --tags=-custom,-internal

This way, you can either focus on or ignore specific tagged exports with tags you define yourself. This also works for individual class or enum members.

The default directive is + (include) and the @ prefix is ignored, so the notation below is valid and will report only exports tagged @custom or @internal:

Terminal window
knip --tags @custom --tags @internal

Reporters & Preprocessors

--reporter [reporter]

Available reporters:

  • symbols (default)
  • compact
  • codeowners
  • json
  • markdown

Can be repeated. Example:

Terminal window
knip --reporter compact

Also see Reporters & Preprocessors.

--reporter-options [json]

Pass extra options to the preprocessor (as JSON string, see —reporter-options example)


Terminal window
knip --reporter codeowners --reporter-options '{"path":".github/CODEOWNERS"}'

--preprocessor [preprocessor]

Preprocess the results before providing it to the reporter(s).

Can be repeated. Examples:

Terminal window
knip --preprocessor ./my-preprocessor.ts
Terminal window
knip --preprocessor preprocessor-package

--preprocessor-options [json]

Pass extra options to the preprocessor as JSON string.

Terminal window
knip --preprocessor ./preproc.ts --preprocessor-options '{"key":"value"}'

Also see Reporters & Preprocessors.

Exit code

The default exit codes:

0Knip ran successfully, no lint errors
1Knip ran successfully, but there is at least one lint error
2Knip did not run successfully due to bad input or internal error


Always exit with code zero (0), even when there are lint errors.


Maximum number of issues before non-zero exit code. Default: 0

ISC License © 2024 Lars Kappert