Command Line Syntax Characters

27 / Feb / 2015 by Noor Alam 0 comments

Hi Friends,

I came across command line syntax characters while I was trying to under stand what different kind of characters stand for in -help manual for typing commands in a command line tool.

Within a command line syntax, certain characters and formatting have special significance and meaning. The command line syntax within this document use the following character format:

  • Square Brackets [ ]

    The square brackets ( [ ] ) indicate that the enclosed element (parameter, value, or information) is optional. You can choose one or more items or no items. Do not type the square brackets themselves in the command line.

    Example: [global options],

    , [destination arguments]

  • Angle Brackets < >

    The angle brackets ( < > ) indicate that the enclosed element (parameter, value, or information) is mandatory. You are required to replace the text within the angle brackets with the appropriate information. Do not type the angle brackets themselves in the command line.

    Example: -f [set the File Name variable], -printer <printer name>, -repeat <months> <days> <hours> <minutes>, date access <mm/dd/yyyy>

  • Ellipsis …

    The ellipsis symbol of three periods ( … ) means “and so on” and indicates that the preceding element (parameter, value, or information) can be repeated several times in a command line.

    Example: -jobid <job id1, job id2, job id3,…>, [-exitcode <exit code 1>,<exit code2>,<exit code3> …]

  • Pipe |

    The pipe symbol (vertical line) means “or” and indicates a choice within an element. If two arguments are separated by the pipe symbol, you can select the element to the left of the separator or the element to the right of the separator. You cannot select both elements in a single use of the command. Within square brackets, the choices are optional. Within angle brackets, at least one choice is required.

    Example: -ca_backup [-custom|-rotation|-gfsrotation], -excludeday <Sun|Mon|Tue|Wed|Thu|Fri|Sat>, -runjob <start|stop>

  • Italics

    Italic text indicates information that you must supply with the appropriate value. It is an option or parameter to be replaced with a value.

    Example: -sessionpassword session password, -f [set the File Name variable], -printer <printer name>

Note: Command line syntax, including user names, passwords, and file names used in UNIX and Linux platforms are case-sensitive. For example, commandline, CommandLine, and COMMANDLINE are not the same.

Thanks for reading,                                                                                                                           Noor Alam

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