CodeQL documentation

Syntax error

ID: py/syntax-error
Kind: problem
Severity: error
Precision: high
   - reliability
   - correctness
Query suites:
   - python-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

Syntax errors prevent a module being evaluated and thus imported. An attempt to import a module with invalid syntax will fail; a SyntaxError will be raised.

A common cause of syntax errors is the difference in syntax between Python 2 and Python 3. In particular, a syntax error may be alerted if a Python 3 file is assumed to be compatible with Python 2 (or vice versa). Explicitly specifying the expected Python version can help prevent this.

The existence of a syntax error in a module may suggest other problems as well. Either the module is never imported in practice and could be deleted or a try statement around the import is mistakenly discarding the SyntaxError.


Fixing the syntax error is the obvious fix. However, it is worth investigating why a module containing a syntax error was able to persist and address that problem as well.

If you suspect that the syntax error is caused by the analysis using the wrong version of Python, consider specifying the version explicitly. For, you can customize extraction using an lgtm.yml file as described here.