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What is a command line argument?

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Many Unix commands allow command line arguments, that is, additional words or phrases that follow the name of the command and give more information about what to do.

For example, the man command will give you information about any Unix command. To get information about the date command, for example, you can type:

      yourname@yourcomputer<21>% man date

A command can have any number of arguments. For example, the cat command concatenates any number of files. Suppose you want to display the contents of three files named names, dates, and addresses on your display screen. This command would do it:

      yourname@yourcomputer<22>% cat names dates addresses

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See also: What is a Unix command?
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John Shipman,
Last updated: 1995/12/04 19:39:34 UT
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