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sandbox/morph / Doc / library / getopt.rst

:mod:`getopt` --- C-style parser for command line options

Source code: :source:`Lib/getopt.py`


The :mod:`getopt` module is a parser for command line options whose API is designed to be familiar to users of the C :c:func:`getopt` function. Users who are unfamiliar with the C :c:func:`getopt` function or who would like to write less code and get better help and error messages should consider using the :mod:`argparse` module instead.

This module helps scripts to parse the command line arguments in sys.argv. It supports the same conventions as the Unix :c:func:`getopt` function (including the special meanings of arguments of the form '-' and '--'). Long options similar to those supported by GNU software may be used as well via an optional third argument.

This module provides two functions and an exception:

An example using only Unix style options:

>>> import getopt
>>> args = '-a -b -cfoo -d bar a1 a2'.split()
>>> args
['-a', '-b', '-cfoo', '-d', 'bar', 'a1', 'a2']
>>> optlist, args = getopt.getopt(args, 'abc:d:')
>>> optlist
[('-a', ''), ('-b', ''), ('-c', 'foo'), ('-d', 'bar')]
>>> args
['a1', 'a2']

Using long option names is equally easy:

>>> s = '--condition=foo --testing --output-file abc.def -x a1 a2'
>>> args = s.split()
>>> args
['--condition=foo', '--testing', '--output-file', 'abc.def', '-x', 'a1', 'a2']
>>> optlist, args = getopt.getopt(args, 'x', [
...     'condition=', 'output-file=', 'testing'])
>>> optlist
[('--condition', 'foo'), ('--testing', ''), ('--output-file', 'abc.def'), ('-x', '')]
>>> args
['a1', 'a2']

In a script, typical usage is something like this:

import getopt, sys

def main():
        opts, args = getopt.getopt(sys.argv[1:], "ho:v", ["help", "output="])
    except getopt.GetoptError, err:
        # print help information and exit:
        print str(err) # will print something like "option -a not recognized"
    output = None
    verbose = False
    for o, a in opts:
        if o == "-v":
            verbose = True
        elif o in ("-h", "--help"):
        elif o in ("-o", "--output"):
            output = a
            assert False, "unhandled option"
    # ...

if __name__ == "__main__":

Note that an equivalent command line interface could be produced with less code and more informative help and error messages by using the :mod:`argparse` module:

import argparse

if __name__ == '__main__':
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
    parser.add_argument('-o', '--output')
    parser.add_argument('-v', dest='verbose', action='store_true')
    args = parser.parse_args()
    # ... do something with args.output ...
    # ... do something with args.verbose ..