Go Parsing Command Line Arguments And Flags Flags


Go standard library provides package flag that helps with parsing flags passed to program.

Note that flag package doesn't provide usual GNU-style flags. That means that multi-letter flags must be started with single hyphen like this: -exampleflag , not this: --exampleflag. GNU-style flags can be done with some 3-rd party package.

package main

import (

func main() {

    // basic flag can be defined like this:
    stringFlag := flag.String("string.flag", "default value", "here comes usage")
    // after that stringFlag variable will become a pointer to flag value

    // if you need to store value in variable, not pointer, than you can
    // do it like:
    var intFlag int
    flag.IntVar(&intFlag, "int.flag", 1, "usage of intFlag")

    // after all flag definitions you must call

    // then we can access our values
    fmt.Printf("Value of stringFlag is: %s\n", *stringFlag)
    fmt.Printf("Value of intFlag is: %d\n", intFlag)


flag does help message for us:

$ ./flags -h
Usage of ./flags:
  -int.flag int
        usage of intFlag (default 1)
  -string.flag string
        here comes usage (default "default value")

Call with all flags:

$ ./flags -string.flag test -int.flag 24
Value of stringFlag is: test
Value of intFlag is: 24

Call with missing flags:

$ ./flags
Value of stringFlag is: default value
Value of intFlag is: 1