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RocketLink!--> Man page versions: OpenBSD FreeBSD RedHat Solaris Others

[IEEE Std1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').]

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

     getopt - get option character from command line argument list

     #include <unistd.h>

     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.
     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.

     getopt(1),  getsubopt(3)

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

     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.2'') 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 in 4.3BSD.

     The getopt() function was once specified to return EOF instead of -1.
     This was changed by IEEE Std1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'') to decouple
     getopt() from <stdio.h>.

     A single dash (`-') may be specified as a character in optstring, however
     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);

OpenBSD 2.6                     April 19, 1994                               3

Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.

(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)

[Detailed Topics]
FreeBSD Sources for getopt(3) functions
OpenBSD sources for getopt(3)

[Overview Topics]

Up to: Current Process Control - control of the currently running process, longjmp, wait, sleep, argument processing
Up to: NUL Terminated String processing - NUL terminated string operations (strcpy, strlen, etc)

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[IEEE Std1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').]

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