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3.1 Main Options

Here is a summary of all the options, grouped by type, followed by explanations in the same order.

In the table, arguments to long options also apply to any corresponding short options.

Non-option arguments
          syntax-file

Output options
          -o, --output=output-file
          -O option=value
          -O format=format
          -O device={terminal|listing}
          --no-output
          -e, --error-file=error-file

Language options
          -I, --include=dir
          -I-, --no-include
          -b, --batch
          -i, --interactive
          -r, --no-statrc
          -a, --algorithm={compatible|enhanced}
          -x, --syntax={compatible|enhanced}
          --syntax-encoding=encoding

Informational options
          -h, --help
          -V, --version

Other options
          -s, --safer
          --testing-mode
syntax-file
Read and execute the named syntax file. If no syntax files are specified, pspp prompts for commands. If any syntax files are specified, pspp by default exits after it runs them, but you may make it prompt for commands by specifying ‘-’ as an additional syntax file.
-o output-file
Write output to output-file. pspp has several different output drivers that support output in various formats (use --help to list the available formats). Specify this option more than once to produce multiple output files, presumably in different formats.

Use ‘-’ as output-file to write output to standard output.

If no -o option is used, then pspp writes text and CSV output to standard output and other kinds of output to whose name is based on the format, e.g. pspp.pdf for PDF output.

-O option=value
Sets an option for the output file configured by a preceding -o. Most options are specific to particular output formats. A few options that apply generically are listed below.
-O format=format
pspp uses the extension of the file name given on -o to select an output format. Use this option to override this choice by specifying an alternate format, e.g. -o pspp.out -O html to write HTML to a file named pspp.out. Use --help to list the available formats.
-O device={terminal|listing}
Sets whether pspp considers the output device configured by the preceding -o to be a terminal or a listing device. This affects what output will be sent to the device, as configured by the SET command's output routing subcommands (see SET). By default, output written to standard output is considered a terminal device and other output is considered a listing device.
--no-output
Disables output entirely, if neither -o nor -O is also used. If one of those options is used, --no-output has no effect.
-e error-file
--error-file=error-file
Configures a file to receive pspp error, warning, and note messages in plain text format. Use ‘-’ as error-file to write messages to standard output. The default error file is standard output in the absence of these options, but this is suppressed if an output device writes to standard output (or another terminal), to avoid printing every message twice. Use ‘none’ as error-file to explicitly suppress the default.
-I dir
--include=dir
Appends dir to the set of directories searched by the INCLUDE (see INCLUDE) and INSERT (see INSERT) commands.
-I-
--no-include
Clears all directories from the include path, including directories inserted in the include path by default. The default include path is . (the current directory), followed by .pspp in the user's home directory, followed by pspp's system configuration directory (usually /etc/pspp or /usr/local/etc/pspp).
-b
--batch
-i
--interactive
These options forces syntax files to be interpreted in batch mode or interactive mode, respectively, rather than the default “auto” mode. See Syntax Variants, for a description of the differences.
-r
--no-statrc
Disables running rc at pspp startup time.
-a {enhanced|compatible}
--algorithm={enhanced|compatible}
With enhanced, the default, pspp uses the best implemented algorithms for statistical procedures. With compatible, however, pspp will in some cases use inferior algorithms to produce the same results as the proprietary program SPSS.

Some commands have subcommands that override this setting on a per command basis.

-x {enhanced|compatible}
--syntax={enhanced|compatible}
With enhanced, the default, pspp accepts its own extensions beyond those compatible with the proprietary program SPSS. With compatible, pspp rejects syntax that uses these extensions.
--syntax-encoding=encoding
Specifies encoding as the encoding for syntax files named on the command line. The encoding also becomes the default encoding for other syntax files read during the pspp session by the INCLUDE and INSERT commands. See INSERT, for the accepted forms of encoding.
--help
Prints a message describing pspp command-line syntax and the available device formats, then exits.
-V
--version
Prints a brief message listing pspp's version, warranties you don't have, copying conditions and copyright, and e-mail address for bug reports, then exits.
-s
--safer
Disables certain unsafe operations. This includes the ERASE and HOST commands, as well as use of pipes as input and output files.
--testing-mode
Invoke heuristics to assist with testing pspp. For use by make check and similar scripts.