Senthil Arivudainambi

Single vs Double dash in cli args

28 May 2016

It all depends on the program. Usually “-“ is used for ‘short’ options (one-letter, -h), and “–” is used for “long”(er) options (–help).

Short options can usually be combined (so “-h -a” is same as “-ha”)


One exception I found was find which uses single dash, but full names like find /usr/src -name CVS.

– is not in POSIX, but GNU recommends it and it makes for better readability.