PMD (software)

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Stable release
5.5.3 / 28 January 2017; 4 months ago (2017-01-28)
Development status Active
Written in Java
Operating system Windows, Linux, OS X
Type Static program analysis tool
License BSD License, Apache License 2.0, GNU Lesser General Public License[1]

PMD is a static Java source code analyzer. It uses rule-sets to define when a piece of source is erroneous. PMD includes a set of built-in rules and supports the ability to write custom rules. Typically, issues reported by PMD are not true errors, but rather inefficient code, i.e. the application could still function properly even if they were not corrected.

While PMD does not officially stand for anything, it has several unofficial names, the most appropriate probably being Programming Mistake Detector.


PMD is able to detect flaws or possible flaws in source code, like:

  • Possible bugs—Empty try/catch/finally/switch blocks.
  • Dead code—Unused local variables, parameters and private methods.
  • Empty if/while statements.
  • Overcomplicated expressions—Unnecessary if statements, for loops that could be while loops.
  • Suboptimal code—Wasteful String/StringBuffer usage.
  • Classes with high Cyclomatic Complexity measurements.
  • Duplicate code—Copied/pasted code can mean copied/pasted bugs, and decreases maintainability.


PMD is released under a BSDish license while parts of it are under Apache License 2.0 and the LGPL.[1]

Copy/Paste Detector (CPD)[edit]

The Copy/Paste Detector (CPD) is an add-on to PMD that uses the Rabin–Karp string search algorithm to find duplicated code. CPD works with Java, JSP, C, C++, Fortran, PHP, and C# code.


PMD has plugins for JDeveloper, Eclipse, jEdit, JBuilder, Omnicore's CodeGuide, NetBeans/Sun Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, TextPad, Maven, Ant, Gradle, Gel, JCreator, Hudson, Jenkins, SonarQube and Emacs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "License". 18 January 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 

External links[edit]