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#47 in Command line utilities

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Used in runme




CI Crates

Argc is a powerful Bash framework that simplifies building full-featured CLIs. It lets you define your CLI through comments, focusing on your core logic without dealing with argument parsing, usage text, error messages, and other boilerplate code.



  • Effortless Argument Parsing:
    • Handles flags, options, positional arguments, and subcommands.
    • Validates user input for robust error handling.
    • Generates information-rich usage text.
    • Maps arguments to corresponding variables.
  • Standalone Bash Script Creation:
    • Build a bash script that incorporates all functionalities without depending on Argc itself.
  • Cross-shell Autocompletion:
    • Generate autocompletion scripts for various shells (bash, zsh, fish, powershell, etc.).
  • Man Page Generation:
    • Automatically create comprehensive man page documentation for your script.
  • Environment Variable Integration:
    • Define, validate, and bind environment variables to options and positional arguments.
  • Task Automation:
    • An Bash-based command runner that automates tasks via Argcfile.sh.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility:
    • Seamlessly run your Argc-based scripts on macOS, Linux, Windows, and BSD systems.


Package Managers

  • Rust Developers: cargo install argc
  • Homebrew/Linuxbrew Users: brew install argc
  • Pacman Users: yay -S argc

Pre-built Binaries

Alternatively, download pre-built binaries for macOS, Linux, and Windows from GitHub Releases, extract it, and add the argc binary to your $PATH.

You can use the following command on Linux, MacOS, or Windows to download the latest release.

curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sigoden/argc/main/install.sh | sh -s -- --to /usr/local/bin

GitHub Actions

extractions/setup-crate can be used to install argc in a GitHub Actions workflow.

- uses: extractions/setup-crate@v1
    owner: sigoden
    name: argc

Get Started

Building a command-line program using Argc is a breeze. Just follow these two steps:

1. Design Your CLI Interface:

Describe options, flags, positional parameters, and subcommands using comment tags (explained later).

2. Activate Argument Handling:

Add this line to your script: eval "$(argc --argc-eval "$0" "$@")". This integrates Argc's parsing magic into your program.

Let's illustrate with an example:

# @flag -F --foo  Flag param
# @option --bar   Option param
# @option --baz*  Option param (multi-occurs)
# @arg val*       Positional param

eval "$(argc --argc-eval "$0" "$@")"

echo foo: $argc_foo
echo bar: $argc_bar
echo baz: ${argc_baz[@]}
echo val: ${argc_val[@]}

Run the script with some sample arguments:

./example.sh -F --bar=xyz --baz a --baz b v1 v2

Argc parses these arguments and creates variables prefixed with argc_:

foo: 1
bar: xyz
baz: a b
val: v1 v2

Just run ./example.sh --help to see the automatically generated help information for your CLI:

USAGE: example [OPTIONS] [VAL]...

  [VAL]...  Positional param

  -F, --foo           Flag param
      --bar <BAR>     Option param
      --baz [BAZ]...  Option param (multi-occurs)
  -h, --help          Print help
  -V, --version       Print version

With these simple steps, you're ready to leverage Argc and create robust command-line programs!

Comment Tags

Comment tags are standard Bash comments prefixed with @ and a specific tag. They provide instructions to Argc for configuring your script's functionalities.

Tag Description
@describe Sets the description for the command.
@cmd Defines a subcommand.
@alias Sets aliases for the subcommand.
@arg Defines a positional argument.
@option Defines an option argument.
@flag Defines a flag argument.
@env Defines an environment variable.
@meta Adds metadata.

See specification for the grammar and usage of all the comment tags.


Generate an independent bash script that incorporates all functionalities typically available when the argc command is present.

The generated script removes the argc dependency, enhances compatibility, and enables deployment in a wider range of environments.

argc --argc-build <SCRIPT> [OUTPATH]
argc --argc-build ./example.sh build/

./build/example.sh -h     # The script's functionality does not require the `argc` dependency


Argc is a also command runner built for those who love the efficiency and flexibility of Bash scripting.

Similar to how Makefile define commands for the make tool, Argcscript uses an Argcfile.sh to store your commands, referred to as "recipes".

Why Choose Argc for Your Projects?

  • Leverage Bash Skills: No need to learn a new language, perfect for Bash aficionados.
  • GNU Toolset Integration: Utilize familiar tools like awk, sed, grep, find, and others.
  • Environment variables Management: Load dotenv, document, and validate environment variables effortlessly.
  • Powerful Shell Autocompletion: Enjoy autocomplete suggestions for enhanced productivity.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility:: Works seamlessly across Linux, macOS, Windows, and BSD systems.

See command runner for more details.



Argc automaticlly provides shell completions for all argc-based scripts.

argc --argc-completions <SHELL> [CMDS]...

In the following, we use cmd1 and cmd2 as examples to show how to add a completion script for various shells.

# bash (~/.bashrc)
source <(argc --argc-completions bash cmd1 cmd2)

# elvish (~/.config/elvish/rc.elv)
eval (argc --argc-completions elvish cmd1 cmd2 | slurp)

# fish (~/.config/fish/config.fish)
argc --argc-completions fish cmd1 cmd2 | source

# nushell (~/.config/nushell/config.nu)
argc --argc-completions nushell cmd1 cmd2 # update config.nu manually according to output

# powershell ($PROFILE)
Set-PSReadlineKeyHandler -Key Tab -Function MenuComplete
argc --argc-completions powershell cmd1 cmd2 | Out-String | Invoke-Expression

# xonsh (~/.config/xonsh/rc.xsh)
exec($(argc --argc-completions xonsh cmd1 cmd2))

# zsh (~/.zshrc)
source <(argc --argc-completions zsh cmd1 cmd2)

# tcsh (~/.tcshrc)
eval `argc --argc-completions tcsh cmd1 cmd2`

The core of all completion scripts is to call argc --argc-compgen to obtain completion candidates.

$ argc --argc-compgen bash ./example.sh example --
--foo (Flag param)
--bar (Option param)
--baz (Option param (multi-occurs))
--help (Print help)
--version (Print version)

So argc is a also completion engine, see 1000+ examples in argc-completions.


Generate man pages for your argc-based CLI.

argc --argc-mangen <SCRIPT> [OUTDIR]
argc --argc-mangen ./example.sh man/

man man/example.1


The only dependency of argc is bash. ince developers working on Windows typically have git installed, which includes git-bash, so you can safely use argc and GNU tools (grep, sed, awk...) in the Windows environment.

Make .sh file executable

To execute a .sh script file directly like a .cmd or .exe file, execute the following code in PowerShell.

# Add .sh to PATHEXT
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("PATHEXT", [Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("PATHEXT", "Machine") + ";.SH", "Machine")

# Associate the .sh file extension with Git Bash
New-Item -LiteralPath Registry::HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.sh -Force
New-ItemProperty -LiteralPath Registry::HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.sh -Name "(Default)" -Value "sh_auto_file" -PropertyType String -Force
New-ItemProperty -LiteralPath 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\sh_auto_file\shell\open\command' `
  -Name '(default)' -Value '"C:\Program Files\Git\bin\bash.exe" "%1" %*' -PropertyType String -Force



Copyright (c) 2023-2024 argc developers.

argc is made available under the terms of either the MIT License or the Apache License 2.0, at your option.

See the LICENSE-APACHE and LICENSE-MIT files for license details.


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