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Short Option Style

Most options, but not all of them, also have a short option name starting with a single dash, and followed by a single character, v.g. `-t'. In fact, `-t' is exactly the short option name for the mnemonic option `--list' (`-t'), both having exactly the same meaning. The forms are absolutely identical in function.

The short option names are faster to type than mnemonic option names. All along this manual, whenever a mnemonic option name is given, its equivalent short option name follows between parentheses, if such a short option name exists.

Short options which require arguments use the immediately following argument, so it may be thought as being merely introduced right after it, usually separate by white space. It is also possible to stick the argument right after the short option name, using no intervening space. So one might write `-f archive.tar' or `-farchive.tar' instead of using `--file=archive.tar'. Both `--file=archive-name' and `-f archive-name' denote the option to give the archive a non-default name, which in the example is `archive.tar'. When the option is given separately, its argument follows it, as is usual for Unix programs. For example:

tar -c -v -b 20 -f /dev/rmt0

Short options letters may be lumped together, but contrary to old options, they do not necessarily have to. When short options are nevertheless coalesced, use a single dash for them all. Only the last one in such a set is allowed to have an argument. (Clustering many options, the last of which taking an argument, seems to be fairly opaque writing to me. I would even like that GNU getopt be helpful enough to make this illegal.)

If you move short options in the command, be sure to move their arguments along with them, if any.

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