CS155: Introduction to Unix

Spring 2018

Command Anatomy

See this page as a slide show

Anatomy of a Command

command options arguments <input >output

Options start with a dash, and are, y’know, optional. An option might have its own option-argument, or it might not—it could be -f or -o foo, depending on the command.


An argument could be pretty much anything. It might be a filename, as in cat food, or it might be a word, like echo Hello.

Examples of Commands

No options or arguments date
Two arguments cp from to
One argument echo "hi there"
One option, output redirection date -u >gmt
Two options w/arguments, one filename argument cut -d"/" -f 3 bob
Is foo an option argument, or a regular argument? alpha -b foo bar

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Modified: 2016-08-21T19:00

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