Command option patterns

Here are some common patterns in Unix command options. This is a summary of the patterns Eric Raymond describes here.

OptionTypical meaning
-aAll, append
-bBuffer,block size, batch
-cCommand, check
-dDebug, delete, directory
-eExecute, edit
-fFile, force
-hHeaders, help
-kKeep, kill
-lList, long, load
-nNumber, not
-pPort, protocol
-rRecurse, reverse
-sSilent, subject
-wWidth, warning
-xEnable debugging, extract
-zEnable compression


6 thoughts on “Command option patterns

  1. What is your opinion of the long-form, gnu-style options such as –version and the like?

  2. This looks terrifyingly like the Latin declension tables I once had to memorise. I hope this table doesn‘t end up being used the same way.

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