Very fast link-checking.


  • Fast crawling is key
  • You want to run the link-checker at least before every deploy (on CI or manually). When it takes ages, you're less likely to do so.

  • linkcheck is currently several times faster than blc
  • Finds everything important
  • No link-checker can guarantee correct results: the web is too flaky for that.

  • But at least the tool should correctly parse the HTML (not just try to guess what's a URL and what isn't) and the CSS (for url(...) links).

  • linkcheck already finds more than linklint and blc, and it has fewer false positives.

  • Sane defaults
  • The most frequent use cases should be only a few arguments. For example, unleashing linkcheck on http://localhost:4001 can be done via linkcheck :4001.

  • You want to crawl a served site, not directories of files.
  • Ignores throttling and robots.txt on localhost.
  • Should follow CLI 'standards' (no @input etc.)
  • Brief and meaningful output
  • When everything works, all you want to see is 'Perfect' + stats. That's what linkcheck does.

  • When things are broken, you want to see where exactly is the problem and you want to have it sorted in a sane way.

  • Useful status code
  • For CI build, linkcheck returns status code 1 if there are warnings, and status code 2 if there are errors.


Step 1. Install Dart

Full installation guide here. For example, on a Mac, assuming you have homebrew, run:

$ brew tap dart-lang/dart
$ brew install dart

Step 2. Install linkcheck

pub global activate linkcheck

Pub installs executables into ~/.pub-cache/bin, which may not be on your path. You can fix that by adding the following to your shell's config file (.bashrc, .bash_profile, etc.):

export PATH="$PATH":"~/.pub-cache/bin"

Then either restart the terminal or run source ~/.bash_profile (assuming ~/.bash_profile is where you put the PATH export above).

That's it.


If in doubt, run linkcheck -h. Here are some examples to get you started.


Assuming you run your server on http://localhost:8000/, you can do:

  • linkcheck :8000 to crawl the site and ignore external links
  • linkcheck :8000 -e to try external links

Deployed sites

  • linkcheck to crawl and ignore external links
  • linkcheck to start directly on https
  • linkcheck to crawl both sites and check links between the two (but ignore external links outside those two sites)

Assuming you have a text file mysites.txt like this:

You can run linkcheck -i mysites.txt and it will crawl all of them and also check links between them.