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Repository Details

Feature-rich command line parser for Lua


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Argparse is a feature-rich command line parser for Lua inspired by argparse for Python.

Argparse supports positional arguments, options, flags, optional arguments, subcommands and more. Argparse automatically generates usage, help and error messages.



Simple example:

-- script.lua
local argparse = require "argparse"

local parser = argparse("script", "An example.")
parser:argument("input", "Input file.")
parser:option("-o --output", "Output file.", "a.out")
parser:option("-I --include", "Include locations."):count("*")

local args = parser:parse()

args contents depending on command line arguments:

$ lua script.lua foo
   input = "foo",
   output = "a.out",
   include = {}
$ lua script.lua foo -I/usr/local/include -Isrc -o bar
   input = "foo",
   output = "bar",
   include = {"/usr/local/include", "src"}

Error messages depending on command line arguments:

$ lua script.lua foo bar
Usage: script [-o <output>] [-I <include>] [-h] <input>

Error: too many arguments
$ lua script.lua --help
Usage: script [-o <output>] [-I <include>] [-h] <input>

An example. 

   input                 Input file.

   -o <output>, --output <output>
                         Output file. (default: a.out)
   -I <include>, --include <include>
                         Include locations.
   -h, --help            Show this help message and exit.
$ lua script.lua foo --outptu=bar
Usage: script [-o <output>] [-I <include>] [-h] <input>

Error: unknown option '--outptu'
Did you mean '--output'?


Using LuaRocks

Installing argparse using LuaRocks is simple:

$ luarocks install argparse

Without LuaRocks

Download src/argparse.lua file and put it into the directory for Lua libraries or your working directory.


The tutorial is available online. If argparse has been installed using LuaRocks 2.1.2 or later, it can be viewed using luarocks doc argparse command.

Tutorial HTML files can be built using Sphinx: sphinx-build docsrc doc, the files will be found inside doc/.


argparse comes with a testing suite located in spec directory. busted is required for testing, it can be installed using LuaRocks. Run the tests using busted command from the argparse folder.


argparse is licensed under the same terms as Lua itself (MIT license).