Package flag implements command-line flag parsing.


Define flags using flag.String(), Bool(), Int(), etc.

This declares an integer flag, -flagname, stored in the pointer ip, with type *int.

import "flag"
var ip = flag.Int("flagname", 1234, "help message for flagname")

If you like, you can bind the flag to a variable using the Var() functions.

var flagvar int
func init() {
	flag.IntVar(&flagvar, "flagname", 1234, "help message for flagname")

Or you can create custom flags that satisfy the Value interface (with pointer receivers) and couple them to flag parsing by

flag.Var(&flagVal, "name", "help message for flagname")

For such flags, the default value is just the initial value of the variable.

After all flags are defined, call


to parse the command line into the defined flags.

Flags may then be used directly. If you're using the flags themselves, they are all pointers; if you bind to variables, they're values.

fmt.Println("ip has value ", *ip)
fmt.Println("flagvar has value ", flagvar)

After parsing, the arguments following the flags are available as the slice flag.Args() or individually as flag.Arg(i). The arguments are indexed from 0 through flag.NArg()-1.

Command line flag syntax:

-flag x  // non-boolean flags only

One or two minus signs may be used; they are equivalent. The last form is not permitted for boolean flags because the meaning of the command

cmd -x *

will change if there is a file called 0, false, etc. You must use the -flag=false form to turn off a boolean flag.

Flag parsing stops just before the first non-flag argument ("-" is a non-flag argument) or after the terminator "--".

Integer flags accept 1234, 0664, 0x1234 and may be negative. Boolean flags may be:

1, 0, t, f, T, F, true, false, TRUE, FALSE, True, False

Duration flags accept any input valid for time.ParseDuration.

The default set of command-line flags is controlled by top-level functions. The FlagSet type allows one to define independent sets of flags, such as to implement subcommands in a command-line interface. The methods of FlagSet are analogous to the top-level functions for the command-line flag set.