command line option

Computing Dictionary

command line option definition

software
(Or "option", "flag", "switch", "option switch") An argument to a command that modifies its function rather than providing data. Options generally start with "-" in Unix or "/" in MS-DOS. This is usually followed by a single letter or occasionally a digit. More recently, GNU software adopted the --longoptionname style, usually in addition to traditional, single-character, -x style equivalents.
Some commands require each option to be a separate argument, introduced by a new "-" or "/", others allow multiple option letters to be concatenated into a single argument with a single "-" or "/", e.g. "ls -al". A few Unix commands (e.g. ar, tar) allow the "-" to be omitted. Some options may or must be followed by a value, e.g. "cc prog.c -o prog", sometimes with and sometimes without an intervening space.
getopt and getopts are commands for parsing command line options. There is also a C library routine called getopt for the same purpose.
(2007-02-18)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: command line interface
Next Definition: command module
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for command line option
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing command line option
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature