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Configuration Migration Guide

This guide provides an overview of how you can migrate your ESLint configuration file from the eslintrc format (typically configured in .eslintrc.js or .eslintrc.json files) to the new flat config format (typically configured in an eslint.config.js file).

To learn more about the flat config format, refer to this blog post.

For reference information on these configuration formats, refer to the following documentation:

Migrate Your Config File

To get started, use the configuration migrator on your existing configuration file (.eslintrc, .eslintrc.json, .eslintrc.yml), like this:

npx @eslint/migrate-config .eslintrc.json

This will create a starting point for your eslint.config.js file but is not guaranteed to work immediately without further modification. It will, however, do most of the conversion work mentioned in this guide automatically.

Start Using Flat Config Files

The flat config file format has been the default configuration file format since ESLint v9.0.0. You can start using the flat config file format without any additional configuration.

To use flat config with ESLint v8, place a eslint.config.js file in the root of your project or set the ESLINT_USE_FLAT_CONFIG environment variable to true.

Things That Haven’t Changed between Configuration File Formats

While the configuration file format has changed from eslintrc to flat config, the following has stayed the same:

  • Syntax for configuring rules
  • Syntax for configuring processors
  • The CLI, except for the flag changes noted in CLI Flag Changes.
  • Global variables are configured the same way, but on a different property (see Configuring Language Options).

Key Differences between Configuration Formats

A few of the most notable differences between the eslintrc and flat config formats are the following:

Importing Plugins and Custom Parsers

Eslintrc files use string-based import system inside the plugins property to load plugins and inside the extends property to load external configurations.

Flat config files represent plugins and parsers as JavaScript objects. This means you can use CommonJS require() or ES module import statements to load plugins and custom parsers from external files.

For example, this eslintrc config file loads eslint-plugin-jsdoc and configures rules from that plugin:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    plugins: ["jsdoc"],
    rules: {
        "jsdoc/require-description": "error",
        "jsdoc/check-values": "error"
    }
    // ...other config
};

In flat config, you would do the same thing like this:

// eslint.config.js

import jsdoc from "eslint-plugin-jsdoc";

export default [
    {
        files: ["**/*.js"],
        plugins: {
            jsdoc: jsdoc
        },
        rules: {
            "jsdoc/require-description": "error",
            "jsdoc/check-values": "error"
        }
    }
];

Custom Parsers

In eslintrc files, importing a custom parser is similar to importing a plugin: you use a string to specify the name of the parser.

In flat config files, import a custom parser as a module, then assign it to the languageOptions.parser property of a configuration object.

For example, this eslintrc config file uses the @babel/eslint-parser parser:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    parser: "@babel/eslint-parser",
    // ...other config
};

In flat config, you would do the same thing like this:

// eslint.config.js

import babelParser from "@babel/eslint-parser";

export default [
    {
        // ...other config
        languageOptions: {
            parser: babelParser
        }
        // ...other config
    }
];

Processors

In eslintrc files, processors had to be defined in a plugin, and then referenced by name in the configuration. Processors beginning with a dot indicated a file extension-named processor which ESLint would automatically configure for that file extension.

In flat config files, processors can still be referenced from plugins by their name, but they can now also be inserted directly into the configuration. Processors will never be automatically configured, and must be explicitly set in the configuration.

As an example with a custom plugin with processors:

// node_modules/eslint-plugin-someplugin/index.js
module.exports = {
    processors: {
        ".md": {
            preprocess() {},
            postprocess() {}
        },
        "someProcessor": {
            preprocess() {},
            postprocess() {}
        }
    }
};

In eslintrc, you would configure as follows:

// .eslintrc.js
module.exports = {
    plugins: ["someplugin"],
    processor: "someplugin/someProcessor"
};

ESLint would also automatically add the equivalent of the following:

{
     overrides: [{
        files: ["**/*.md"],
        processor: "someplugin/.md"
     }]
}

In flat config, the following are all valid ways to express the same:

// eslint.config.js
import somePlugin from "eslint-plugin-someplugin";

export default [
    {
        plugins: { somePlugin },
        processor: "somePlugin/someProcessor"
    },
    {
        plugins: { somePlugin },
        // We can embed the processor object in the config directly
        processor: somePlugin.processors.someProcessor
    },
    {
        // We don't need the plugin to be present in the config to use the processor directly
        processor: somePlugin.processors.someProcessor
    }
];

Note that because the .md processor is not automatically added by flat config, you also need to specify an extra configuration element:

{
    files: ["**/*.md"],
    processor: somePlugin.processors[".md"]
}

Glob-Based Configs

By default, eslintrc files lint all files (except those covered by .eslintignore) in the directory in which they’re placed and its child directories. If you want to have different configurations for different file glob patterns, you can specify them in the overrides property.

By default, flat config files support different glob pattern-based configs in exported array. You can include the glob pattern in a config object’s files property. If you don’t specify a files property, the config defaults to the glob pattern "**/*.{js,mjs,cjs}". Basically, all configuration in the flat config file is like the eslintrc overrides property.

eslintrc Examples

For example, this eslintrc file applies to all files in the directory where it is placed and its child directories:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    rules: {
        semi: ["warn", "always"]
    }
};

This eslintrc file supports multiple configs with overrides:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    overrides: [
        {
            files: ["src/**/*"],
            rules: {
                semi: ["warn", "always"]
            }
        },
        {
            files:["test/**/*"],
            rules: {
                "no-console": "off"
            }
        }
    ]
};

For flat config, here is a configuration with the default glob pattern:

// eslint.config.js

import js from "@eslint/js";

export default [
    js.configs.recommended, // Recommended config applied to all files
    // Override the recommended config
    {
        rules: {
            indent: ["error", 2],
            "no-unused-vars": "warn"
        }
        // ...other configuration
    }
];

A flat config example configuration supporting multiple configs for different glob patterns:

// eslint.config.js

import js from "@eslint/js";

export default [
    js.configs.recommended, // Recommended config applied to all files
    // File-pattern specific overrides
    {
        files: ["src/**/*", "test/**/*"],
        rules: {
            semi: ["warn", "always"]
        }
    },
    {
        files:["test/**/*"],
        rules: {
            "no-console": "off"
        }
    }
    // ...other configurations
];

Configuring Language Options

In eslintrc files, you configure various language options across the env, globals and parserOptions properties. Groups of global variables for specific runtimes (e.g. document and window for browser JavaScript; process and require for Node.js) are configured with the env property.

In flat config files, the globals, and parserOptions are consolidated under the languageOptions key; the env property doesn’t exist. Groups of global variables for specific runtimes are imported from the globals npm package and included in the globals property. You can use the spread operator (...) to import multiple globals at once.

For example, here’s an eslintrc file with language options:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    env: {
        browser: true,
    },
    globals: {
        myCustomGlobal: "readonly",
    },
    parserOptions: {
        ecmaVersion: 2022,
        sourceType: "module"
    }
    // ...other config
}

Here’s the same configuration in flat config:

// eslint.config.js

import globals from "globals";

export default [
    {
        languageOptions: {
            ecmaVersion: 2022,
            sourceType: "module",
            globals: {
                ...globals.browser,
                myCustomGlobal: "readonly"
            }
        }
        // ...other config
    }
];

eslint-env Configuration Comments

In the eslintrc config system it was possible to use eslint-env configuration comments to define globals for a file. These comments are no longer recognized when linting with flat config: in a future version of ESLint, eslint-env comments will be reported as errors. For this reason, when migrating from eslintrc to flat config, eslint-env configuration comments should be removed from all files. They can be either replaced with equivalent but more verbose global configuration comments, or dropped in favor of globals definitions in the config file.

For example, when using eslintrc, a file to be linted could look like this:

// tests/my-file.js

/* eslint-env mocha */

describe("unit tests", () => {
    it("should pass", () => {
        // ...
    });
});

In the above example, describe and it would be recognized as global identifiers because of the /* eslint-env mocha */ comment.

The same effect can be achieved with flat config with a global configuration comment, e.g.:

// tests/my-file.js

/* global describe, it -- Globals defined by Mocha */

describe("unit tests", () => {
    it("should pass", () => {
        // ...
    });
});

Another option is to remove the comment from the file being linted and define the globals in the configuration, for example:

// eslint.config.js

import globals from "globals";

export default [
    // ...other config
    {
        files: [
            "tests/**"
        ],
        languageOptions: {
            globals: {
                ...globals.mocha
            }
        }
    }
];

Predefined and Shareable Configs

In eslintrc files, use the extends property to use predefined and shareable configs. ESLint comes with two predefined configs that you can access as strings:

  • "eslint:recommended": the rules recommended by ESLint
  • "eslint:all": all rules shipped with ESLint

You can also use the extends property to extend a shareable config. Shareable configs can either be paths to local config files or npm package names.

In flat config files, predefined configs are imported from separate modules into flat config files. The recommended and all rules configs are located in the @eslint/js package. You must import this package to use these configs:

npm install @eslint/js --save-dev

You can add each of these configs to the exported array or expose specific rules from them. You must import the modules for local config files and npm package configs with flat config.

For example, here’s an eslintrc file using the built-in eslint:recommended config:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    extends: "eslint:recommended",
    rules: {
        semi: ["warn", "always"]
    },
    // ...other config
}

This eslintrc file uses built-in config, local custom config, and shareable config from an npm package:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    extends: ["eslint:recommended", "./custom-config.js", "eslint-config-my-config"],
    rules: {
        semi: ["warn", "always"]
    },
    // ...other config
}

To use the same configs in flat config, you would do the following:

// eslint.config.js

import js from "@eslint/js";
import customConfig from "./custom-config.js";
import myConfig from "eslint-config-my-config";

export default [
    js.configs.recommended,
    customConfig,
    myConfig,
    {
        rules: {
            semi: ["warn", "always"]
        },
        // ...other config
    }
];

Note that because you are just importing JavaScript modules, you can mutate the config objects before ESLint uses them. For example, you might want to have a certain config object only apply to your test files:

// eslint.config.js

import js from "@eslint/js";
import customTestConfig from "./custom-test-config.js";

export default [
    js.configs.recommended,
    {
        ...customTestConfig,
        files: ["**/*.test.js"],
    },
];

Using eslintrc Configs in Flat Config

You may find that there’s a shareable config you rely on that hasn’t yet been updated to flat config format. In that case, you can use the FlatCompat utility to translate the eslintrc format into flat config format. First, install the @eslint/eslintrc package:

npm install @eslint/eslintrc --save-dev

Then, import FlatCompat and create a new instance to convert an existing eslintrc config. For example, if the npm package eslint-config-my-config is in eslintrc format, you can write this:

import { FlatCompat } from "@eslint/eslintrc";
import path from "path";
import { fileURLToPath } from "url";

// mimic CommonJS variables -- not needed if using CommonJS
const __filename = fileURLToPath(import.meta.url);
const __dirname = path.dirname(__filename);

const compat = new FlatCompat({
    baseDirectory: __dirname
});

export default [

    // mimic ESLintRC-style extends
    ...compat.extends("eslint-config-my-config"),
];

This example uses the FlatCompat#extends() method to insert the eslint-config-my-config into the flat config array.

For more information about the FlatCompat class, please see the package README.

Ignoring Files

With eslintrc, you can make ESLint ignore files by creating a separate .eslintignore file in the root of your project. The .eslintignore file uses the same glob pattern syntax as .gitignore files. Alternatively, you can use an ignorePatterns property in your eslintrc file.

To ignore files with flat config, you can use the ignores property in a config object. The ignores property accepts an array of glob patterns. Flat config does not support loading ignore patterns from .eslintignore files, so you’ll need to migrate those patterns directly into flat config.

For example, here’s a .eslintignore example you can use with an eslintrc config:

# .eslintignore
temp.js
config/*
# ...other ignored files

Here are the same patterns represented as ignorePatterns in a .eslintrc.js file:

// .eslintrc.js
module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    ignorePatterns: ["temp.js", "config/*"],
};

The equivalent ignore patterns in flat config look like this:

export default [
    // ...other config
    {
        ignores: ["**/temp.js", "config/*"]
    }
];

In .eslintignore, temp.js ignores all files named temp.js, whereas in flat config, you need to specify this as **/temp.js. The pattern temp.js in flat config only ignores a file named temp.js in the same directory as the configuration file.

Linter Options

ESlintrc files let you configure the linter itself with the noInlineConfig and reportUnusedDisableDirectives properties.

The flat config system introduces a new top-level property linterOptions that you can use to configure the linter. In the linterOptions object, you can include noInlineConfig and reportUnusedDisableDirectives.

For example, here’s an eslintrc file with linter options enabled:

// .eslintrc.js

module.exports = {
    // ...other config
    noInlineConfig: true,
    reportUnusedDisableDirectives: true
}

Here’s the same options in flat config:

// eslint.config.js

export default [
    {
        // ...other config
        linterOptions: {
            noInlineConfig: true,
            reportUnusedDisableDirectives: "warn"
        }
    }
];

CLI Flag Changes

The following CLI flags are no longer supported with the flat config file format:

  • --rulesdir
  • --ext
  • --resolve-plugins-relative-to

The flag --no-eslintrc has been replaced with --no-config-lookup.

--rulesdir

The --rulesdir flag was used to load additional rules from a specified directory. This is no longer supported when using flat config. You can instead create a plugin containing the local rules you have directly in your config, like this:

// eslint.config.js
import myRule from "./rules/my-rule.js";

export default [
    {
        // define the plugin
        plugins: {
            local: {
                rules: {
                    "my-rule": myRule
                }
            }
        },

        // configure the rule
        rules: {
            "local/my-rule": ["error"]
        }

    }
];

--ext

The --ext flag was used to specify additional file extensions ESLint should search for when a directory was passed on the command line, such as npx eslint .. This is no longer supported when using flat config. Instead, specify the file patterns you’d like ESLint to search for directly in your config. For example, if you previously were using --ext .ts,.tsx, then you will need to update your config file like this:

// eslint.config.js
export default [
    {
        files: ["**/*.ts", "**/*.tsx"]

        // any additional configuration for these file types here
    }
];

ESLint uses the files keys from the config file to determine which files should be linted.

--resolve-plugins-relative-to

The --resolve-plugins-relative-to flag was used to indicate which directory plugin references in your configuration file should be resolved relative to. This was necessary because shareable configs could only resolve plugins that were peer dependencies or dependencies of parent packages.

With flat config, shareable configs can specify their dependencies directly, so this flag is no longer needed.

package.json Configuration No Longer Supported

With eslintrc, it was possible to use a package.json file to configure ESLint using the eslintConfig key.

With flat config, it’s no longer possible to use a package.json file to configure ESLint. You’ll need to move your configuration into a separate file.

Additional Changes

The following changes have been made from the eslintrc to the flat config file format:

  • The root option no longer exists. (Flat config files act as if root: true is set.)
  • The files option cannot be a single string anymore, it must be an array.
  • The sourceType option now supports the new value "commonjs" (.eslintrc supports it too, but it was never documented).

TypeScript Types for Flat Config Files

You can see the TypeScript types for the flat config file format in the DefinitelyTyped project. The interface for the objects in the config’s array is called the FlatConfig.

You can view the type definitions in the DefinitelyTyped repository on GitHub.

Visual Studio Code Support

By default, the Visual Studio Code ESLint plugin does not look for eslint.config.js files. To enable support for the new configuration files, edit your .vscode/settings.json file and add the following:

{
  // enable flat config files (eslint.config.*js)
  "eslint.experimental.useFlatConfig": true
}

In a future version of the ESLint plugin, you will no longer need to enable this manually.

Further Reading

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