getopt - parse command options
set -- ` getopt optstring $ * `
The getopts command supersedes getopt. For more information,
see NOTES below.
getopt is used to break up options in command lines for easy
parsing by shell procedures and to check for legal options.
optstring is a string of recognized option letters; see
getopt(3C). If a letter is followed by a colon (:), the
option is expected to have an argument which may or may not
be separated from it by white space. The special option - is
used to delimit the end of the options. If it is used expli-
citly, getopt recognizes it; otherwise, getopt generates it;
in either case, getopt places it at the end of the options.
The positional parameters ($1 $2 ...) of the shell are reset
so that each option is preceded by a - and is in its own
positional parameter; each option argument is also parsed
into its own positional parameter.
Example 1: Processing the arguments for a command
The following code fragment shows how one might process the
arguments for a command that can take the options -a or -b,
as well as the option -o, which requires an argument:
set -- `getopt abo: $*`
if [ $? != 0 ]
for i in $*
case $i in
-a | -b) FLAG=$i; shift;;
-o) OARG=$2; shift 2;;
--) shift; break;;
This code accepts any of the following as equivalent:
cmd -aoarg filename1 filename2
cmd -a -o arg filename1 filename2
cmd -oarg -a filename1 filename2
cmd -a -oarg -- filename1 filename2
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWcsu |
| CSI | enabled |
intro(1), getopts(1), getoptcvt(1), sh(1),
shell_builtins(1), getopt(3C), attributes(5)
getopt prints an error message on the standard error when it
encounters an option letter not included in optstring.
getopt will not be supported in the next major release. For
this release a conversion tool has been provided, namely,
getoptcvt. For more information, see getopts(1) and
Reset optind to 1 when rescanning the options.
getopt does not support the part of Rule 8 of the command
syntax standard (see intro(1)) that permits groups of
option-arguments following an option to be separated by
white space and quoted. For example,
cmd -a -b -o "xxx z yy" filename
is not handled correctly. To correct this deficiency, use
the getopts command in place of getopt.
If an option that takes an option-argument is followed by a
value that is the same as one of the options listed in opt-
string (referring to the earlier EXAMPLES section, but using
the following command line:
cmd -o -a filename
getopt always treats it as an option-argument to -o; it
never recognizes -a as an option. For this case, the for
loop in the example shifts past the filename argument.
Man(1) output converted with