CodeQL documentation

Membership test with a non-container

ID: py/member-test-non-container
Kind: problem
Security severity: 
Severity: error
Precision: high
   - reliability
   - correctness
Query suites:
   - python-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

A membership test, that is a binary expression with in or not in as the operator, expects that the expression to the right of the operator will be a container.

As well as standard containers such as list, tuple, dict or set, a container can be an instance of any class that has the __contains__, __iter__ or __getitem__ method.


Ensure that the right hand side of the expression is a container, or add a guard clause for other cases. For example, if the right side may be a container or None then change if x in seq: to if seq is not None and x in seq:


In this example the NotAContainer class has no __contains__, __iter__ or __getitem__ method. Consequently, when the line if 2 in cont: is executed a TypeError will be raised. Adding a __getitem__ method to the NotAContainer class would solve the problem.

class NotAContainer(object):

    def __init__(self, *items):
        self.items = items

def main():
    cont = NotAContainer(1, 2, 3)
    if 2 in cont:
        print("2 in container")


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