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command-line-args

A library to collect command-line args and generate a usage guide.

command-line-args

A library to collect command-line args and generate a usage guide.

If your app requires a git-like command interface, consider using command-line-commands.

You can set options using the main notation standards (getopt, getopt_long, etc.). These commands are all equivalent, setting the same values:

$ example --verbose --timeout=1000 --src one.js --src two.js
$ example --verbose --timeout 1000 --src one.js two.js
$ example -vt 1000 --src one.js two.js
$ example -vt 1000 one.js two.js

To access the values, first describe the options your app accepts (see option definitions).

var commandLineArgs = require('command-line-args');
 
var cli = commandLineArgs([
  { name: 'verbose', alias: 'v', type: Boolean },
  { name: 'src', type: String, multiple: true, defaultOption: true },
  { name: 'timeout', alias: 't', type: Number }
])

The type property is a setter function (the value you receive is the output of this), giving you full control over the value received.

Next, collect the command line args using .parse():

var options = cli.parse()

options now looks like this:

{
  files: [
    'one.js',
    'two.js'
  ],
  verbose: true,
  timeout: 1000
}

When dealing with large amounts of options it often makes sense to group them.

The .getUsage() method generates a usage guide. For example:

Notation rules for setting command-line options.

  • Argument order is insignificant. Whether you set --example at the beginning or end of the arg list makes no difference.
  • Options with a type of Boolean do not need to supply a value. Setting --flag or -f will set that option's value to true. This is the only type with special behaviour.
  • Three ways to set an option value
    • --option value
    • --option=value
    • -o value
  • Two ways to a set list of values (on options with multiple set)
    • --list one two three
    • --list one --list two --list three
  • Short options (alias) can be set in groups. The following are equivalent:
    • -a -b -c
    • -abc
$ npm install command-line-args --save
$ npm install -g command-line-args

If you install globally you get the command-line-args test-harness. You test by piping in a module which exports an option definitions array. You can then view the .parse() output for the args you pass.

For example:

$ cat example/typical.js | command-line-args lib/* --timeout=1000
{ src:
   [ 'lib/command-line-args.js',
     'lib/definition.js',
     'lib/definitions.js',
     'lib/option.js' ],
  timeout: 1000 }

API Reference

A library to collect command-line args and generate a usage guide.

A class encapsulating operations you can perform using an OptionDefinition array as input.

Kind: Exported class

The constructor will throw if you pass invalid option definitions. You should fix these issues before proceeding.

Throws:

  • NAME_MISSING if an option definition is missing the required name property
  • INVALID_TYPE if an option definition has a type value that's not a function
  • INVALID_ALIAS if an alias is numeric, a hyphen or a length other than 1
  • DUPLICATE_NAME if an option definition name was used more than once
  • DUPLICATE_ALIAS if an option definition alias was used more than once
  • DUPLICATE_DEFAULT_OPTION if more than one option definition has defaultOption: true
Param Type Description
definitions Array.<definition> An optional array of OptionDefinition objects

Example

const commandLineArgs = require('command-line-args')
const cli = commandLineArgs([
  { name: 'file' },
  { name: 'verbose' },
  { name: 'depth'}
])

Returns an object containing all the values and flags set on the command line. By default it parses the global process.argv array.

Kind: instance method of CommandLineArgs
Throws:

  • UNKNOWN_OPTION if the user sets an option without a definition
Param Type Description
[argv] Array.<string> An array of strings, which if passed will be parsed instead of process.argv.

Generates a usage guide. Please see command-line-usage for full instructions of how to use.

Kind: instance method of CommandLineArgs

Param Type Description
[options] object the options to pass to command-line-usage

Describes a command-line option. The additional properties description and typeLabel used by .getUsage() are described here.

Kind: Exported class

option.name : string

The only required definition property is name, so the simplest working example is

[
  { name: "file" },
  { name: "verbose" },
  { name: "depth"}
]

In this case, the value of each option will be either a Boolean or string.

# Command line args .parse() output
1 --file { file: true }
2 --file lib.js --verbose { file: "lib.js", verbose: true }
3 --verbose very { verbose: "very" }
4 --depth 2 { depth: "2" }

Unicode option names and aliases are valid, for example:

[
  { name: 'один' },
  { name: '' },
  { name: 'три', alias: 'т' }
]

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition

The type value is a setter function (you receive the output from this), enabling you to be specific about the type and value received.

You can use a class, if you like:

const fs = require('fs')
 
function FileDetails(filename){
  if (!(this instanceof FileDetails)) return new FileDetails(filename)
  this.filename = filename
  this.exists = fs.existsSync(filename)
}
 
const cli = commandLineArgs([
  { name: 'file', type: FileDetails },
  { name: 'depth', type: Number }
])
# Command line args .parse() output
1 --file asdf.txt { file: { filename: 'asdf.txt', exists: false } }

The --depth option expects a Number. If no value was set, you will receive null.

# Command line args .parse() output
2 --depth { depth: null }
3 --depth 2 { depth: 2 }

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition

getopt-style short option names. Can be any single character (unicode included) except a digit or hypen.

[
  { name: "hot", alias: "h", type: Boolean },
  { name: "discount", alias: "d", type: Boolean },
  { name: "courses", alias: "c" , type: Number }
]
# Command line .parse() output
1 -hcd { hot: true, courses: null, discount: true }
2 -hdc 3 { hot: true, discount: true, courses: 3 }

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition

Set this flag if the option takes a list of values. You will receive an array of values, each passed through the type function (if specified).

[
  { name: "files", type: String, multiple: true }
]
# Command line .parse() output
1 --files one.js two.js { files: [ 'one.js', 'two.js' ] }
2 --files one.js --files two.js { files: [ 'one.js', 'two.js' ] }
3 --files * { files: [ 'one.js', 'two.js' ] }

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition

Any unclaimed command-line args will be set on this option. This flag is typically set on the most commonly-used option to make for more concise usage (i.e. $ myapp *.js instead of $ myapp --files *.js).

[
  { name: "files", type: String, multiple: true, defaultOption: true }
]
# Command line .parse() output
1 --files one.js two.js { files: [ 'one.js', 'two.js' ] }
2 one.js two.js { files: [ 'one.js', 'two.js' ] }
3 * { files: [ 'one.js', 'two.js' ] }

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition

An initial value for the option.

[
  { name: "files", type: String, multiple: true, defaultValue: [ "one.js" ] },
  { name: "max", type: Number, defaultValue: 3 }
]
# Command line .parse() output
1 { files: [ 'one.js' ], max: 3 }
2 --files two.js { files: [ 'two.js' ], max: 3 }
3 --max 4 { files: [ 'one.js' ], max: 4 }

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition

When your app has a large amount of options it makes sense to organise them in groups.

There are two automatic groups: _all (contains all options) and _none (contains options without a group specified in their definition).

[
  { name: "verbose", group: "standard" },
  { name: "help", group: [ "standard", "main" ] },
  { name: "compress", group: [ "server", "main" ] },
  { name: "static", group: "server" },
  { name: "debug" }
]
#Command Line.parse() output
1--verbose

{
 _all: { verbose: true },
 standard: { verbose: true }
}
2--debug

{
 _all: { debug: true },
 _none: { debug: true }
}
3--verbose --debug --compress

{
 _all: {
   verbose: true,
   debug: true,
   compress: true
 },
 standard: { verbose: true },
 server: { compress: true },
 main: { compress: true },
 _none: { debug: true }
}
4--compress

{
 _all: { compress: true },
 server: { compress: true },
 main: { compress: true }
}

Kind: instance property of OptionDefinition


© 2015 Lloyd Brookes <75pound@gmail.com>. Documented by jsdoc-to-markdown.