vulture - Find dead code

Vulture finds unused classes, functions and variables in your code. This helps you cleanup and find errors in your programs. If you run it on both your library and test suite you can find untested code.

Due to Python's dynamic nature, static code analyzers like vulture are likely to miss some dead code. Also, code that is only called implicitly may be reported as unused. Nonetheless, vulture can be a very helpful tool for achieving high code quality.


  • fast: uses static code analysis
  • lightweight: only one module
  • tested: tests itself and has 100% test coverage
  • complements pyflakes and has the same output syntax
  • supports Python 2.6, 2.7 and 3.x


$ pip install -U vulture


$ vulture --help

After you have found and deleted dead code, run vulture again, because it may discover more dead code. You can add false-positives (used code that is marked as unused) to a python module and add it to the list of scanned paths (see whitelist.py for an example).

How does it work?

Vulture uses the ast module to build abstract syntax trees for all given files. While traversing all syntax trees it records the names of defined and used objects. Afterwards, it reports the objects which have been defined, but not used. This analysis ignores scopes and focuses only on object names.

Similar programs

  • vulture can be used together with pyflakes
  • The coverage module can find unused code more reliably, but requires all branches of the code to actually be run.


Your feedback is more than welcome. Write emails to jendrikseipp@web.de or post bugs and feature or pull requests on bitbucket:


Source download

The source code is available on bitbucket. Fork away!