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2 Common options

Certain options are available in all these programs. Rather than writing identical descriptions for each of the programs, they are described here. (In fact, every GNU program accepts, or should accept, these options.)

Many of these programs take arbitrary strings as arguments. In those cases, --help and --version are taken as these options only if there is one and exactly one command line argument.


Print a usage message, listing all available options, then exit successfully.


Print a condensed usage message, displaying all available options formatted like a command line call, then exit successfully.


Print the version number, then exit successfully.


Delimit the option list. Later arguments, if any, are treated as operands even if they begin with ‘-’.