As you would launch the command line

You can use the run_pylint function, which is the same function called by the command line (using sys.argv). You can supply arguments yourself:

from pylint import run_pylint

run_pylint(argv=["--disable=line-too-long", ""])

Recover the result in a stream

You can also use pylint.lint.Run directly if you want to do something that can't be done using only pylint's command line options. Here's the basic example:

from pylint.lint import Run

Run(argv=["--disable=line-too-long", ""])

With Run it is possible to invoke pylint programmatically with a reporter initialized with a custom stream:

from io import StringIO

from pylint.lint import Run
from pylint.reporters.text import TextReporter

pylint_output = StringIO()  # Custom open stream
reporter = TextReporter(pylint_output)
Run([""], reporter=reporter, exit=False)
print(pylint_output.getvalue())  # Retrieve and print the text report

The reporter can accept any stream object as as parameter. In this example, the stream outputs to a file:

from pylint.lint import Run
from pylint.reporters.text import TextReporter

with open("report.out", "w") as f:
    reporter = TextReporter(f)
    Run([""], reporter=reporter, exit=False)

This would be useful to capture pylint output in an open stream which can be passed onto another program.

If your program expects that the files being linted might be edited between runs, you will need to clear pylint's inference cache:

from pylint.lint import pylinter