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GETOPT(3)                   BSD Programmer's Manual                  GETOPT(3)

     getopt - get option character from command line argument list

     #include <&lt;unistd.h>&gt;

     extern char *optarg;
     extern int optind;
     extern int optopt;
     extern int opterr;
     extern int optreset;

     getopt(int argc, char * const *argv, const char *optstring);

     The getopt() function incrementally parses a command line argument list
     argv and returns the next known option character.  An option character is
     known if it has been specified in the string of accepted option charac-
     ters, optstring.

     The option string optstring may contain the following elements: individu-
     al characters, and characters followed by a colon to indicate an option
     argument is to follow.  For example, an option string "x" recognizes an
     option ``-x'', and an option string "x:" recognizes an option and argu-
     ment ``-x argument''. It does not matter to getopt() if a following argu-
     ment has leading white space.

     On return from getopt(), optarg points to an option argument, if it is
     anticipated, and the variable optind contains the index to the next argv
     argument for a subsequent call to getopt().  The variable optopt saves
     the last known option character returned by getopt().

     The variable opterr and optind are both initialized to 1.  The optind
     variable may be set to another value before a set of calls to getopt() in
     order to skip over more or less argv entries.

     In order to use getopt() to evaluate multiple sets of arguments, or to
     evaluate a single set of arguments multiple times, the variable optreset
     must be set to 1 before the second and each additional set of calls to
     getopt(), and the variable optind must be reinitialized.

     The getopt() function returns -1 when the argument list is exhausted, or
     a non-recognized option is encountered.  The interpretation of options in
     the argument list may be cancelled by the option `--' (double dash) which
     causes getopt() to signal the end of argument processing and returns -1.
     When all options have been processed (i.e., up to the first non-option
     argument), getopt() returns -1.

     If the getopt() function encounters a character not found in the string
     optarg or detects a missing option argument it writes an error message
     and returns `?' to the stderr. Setting opterr to a zero will disable
     these error messages.  If optstring has a leading `:' then a missing op-
     tion argument causes a `:' to be returned in addition to suppressing any
     error messages.

     Option arguments are allowed to begin with ``-''; this is reasonable but
     reduces the amount of error checking possible.

     The optreset variable was added to make it possible to call the getopt()
     function multiple times.  This is an extension to the IEEE Std1003.2
     (``POSIX'') specification.

     extern char *optarg;
     extern int optind;
     int bflag, ch, fd;

     bflag = 0;
     while ((ch = getopt(argc, argv, "bf:")) != -1)
             switch(ch) {
             case 'b':
                     bflag = 1;
             case 'f':
                     if ((fd = open(optarg, O_RDONLY, 0)) < 0) {
                                 "myname: %s: %s\n", optarg, strerror(errno));
             case '?':
     argc -= optind;
     argv += optind;

     The getopt() function appeared 4.3BSD.

     The getopt() function was once specified to return EOF instead of -1.
     This was changed by  to decouple getopt() from &lt;stdio.h&gt;.

     A single dash ``-'' may be specified as an character in optstring, howev-
     er it should never have an argument associated with it.  This allows
     getopt() to be used with programs that expect ``-'' as an option flag.
     This practice is wrong, and should not be used in any current develop-
     ment.  It is provided for backward compatibility only. By default, a sin-
     gle dash causes getopt() to return -1.  This is, we believe, compatible
     with System V.

     It is also possible to handle digits as option letters.  This allows
     getopt() to be used with programs that expect a number (``-3'') as an op-
     tion.  This practice is wrong, and should not be used in any current de-
     velopment.  It is provided for backward compatibility only. The following
     code fragment works in most cases.

           int length;
           char *p;

           while ((c = getopt(argc, argv, "0123456789")) != -1)
                   switch (c) {
                   case '0': case '1': case '2': case '3': case '4':
                   case '5': case '6': case '7': case '8': case '9':
                           p = argv[optind - 1];
                           if (p[0] == '-' && p[1] == ch && !p[2])
                                   length = atoi(++p);
                                   length = atoi(argv[optind] + 1);

4.3 Berkeley Distribution       April 27, 1995                               2