An high level argument parsing library for bash.
The purpose is to replace the option-parsing and usage-describing functions commonly rewritten in all scripts.
This library is implemented for GNU bash version >= 4.1. Prior versions of bash will fail at interpreting that code.
Doxygen documentation is available online here.
Though you can build your own package using the provided spec file, a bash-argsparse package is currently available in fedora repositories, for all releases from fedora 19 to rawhide. Ditto for RHEL/Centos 6 & 7, through the EPEL repository.
The argsparse library offers to script developpers the following features:
- Automatic help message generation
- Simple option declarations
- Different option types: simple, with value, with cumulative (uniq or not) values
- User-input checkings (either by type, enumerations or custom checking)
- Hook settings
- Option properties making them excluding each other, aliasing other options, or (sic) non-optional.
Requirements, Bash settings
A basic argsparse run requires no external commands except the quite-common "getopt" command. Some argsparse-built-in type checkings may require some other (like "host" and "getent") but you do not have to use those types.
Argsparse relies on a lot of bash built-in commands ("printf", "[", "read", ...) and internal features such as arrays, associative arrays, extended (ksh-like) globbing. That's why the "extglob" shell option is automatically enabled and posix-mode is automatically disabled when loading the argsparse library.
The code has been tested on bash 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 and is definitely not POSIX-compliant.
Compliance with the "nounset" and "failglob" bash settings is supported.
- argsparse.sh: the library.
- tutorial: a bunch of small demonstration scripts for new users.
- bash-argsparse.spec: a spec file to build RPM packages.
- debian: the directory required to build deb packages.
- Doxyfile: doxygen configuration file.
- doxygen-bash.sed: bash-doxygen doxygen input filter.
- unittest: a test script to validate most of argsparse features.
Here are the topics covered by scripts in tutorial directory:
- 1-basics: Bash Argsparse basics
- 2-values: Options accepting values
- 3-cumulative-options: How to keep all user-given values
- 4-types: Type-checking
- 5-custom-types: User-defined types
- 6-properties: Option properties
- 7-value-checking: Advanced value checking using argsparse
- 8-setting-hook: Changing the way options are set
- 9-misc: Other misc argsparse features.
Invoke each script without parameter or with --help to obtain usage message.
Known limitations (or bugs)
- You cannot have a short option without a long option.
- Too few verifications about property values are made.
- Compliance with errexit is not supported (yet).
- Compliance with Non-bind versions of the "host" command has not been tested.