How to parse program options in C++ using getopt_long

Any C or C++ program worth its salt will take some options and arguments from the user at the shell. Option is typically of the form -h (short) or --help (long). Options can also have a following argument, for example -o someFile.txt or --open someFile.txt. All these types of options and arguments can be processed easily using the getopt_long function in the GNU C library.

An example that illustrates its usage is given below:


  • Sec 2.1.3 of Advanced Linux Programming by CodeSourcery LLC and Mark Mitchell
  • getopt(3) Linux man page

Tried with: GCC 4.9.2 and Ubuntu 14.04

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