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Yargs Parser

Published: Oct 12, 2018

Last updated: Oct 12, 2018

    Yargs parser is an incredibly basic option parser for the command line.

    This is a basic library I tend to use a lot for any of my CLI tools that I am building out.


    # NPM npm install yargs-parser --save # or yarn yarn add yargs-parser

    Example code

    The main use case we will use is for options and arguments passed from the command line.

    First, create an index.js file and require the following:

    var argv = require("yargs-parser")(process.argv.slice(2)); console.log(argv);

    Now we can already run the script from the command line, pass options and arguments and see what happens:

    node index.js hello --foo=33 --bar world # prints { _: ['hello'], foo: 33, bar: 'world' }

    If we disect the above command, we note that anything passed after node index.js becomes an accessible argument from our argv object under argv._. All the other options passed as the object key as a property of argv with the corresponding value passed.

    Taking all this into account, the above is now accesible as follows:

    var argv = require("yargs-parser")(process.argv.slice(2)); console.log(argv._[0]); // hello console.log(; // 33 console.log(; // world

    Great! Now we can start building our Node.js commandline tools.

    For now, let's just set up a basic example of how you could run a command line tool that just logs out some basic information based on the first argument passed and options.

    var argv = require("yargs-parser")(process.argv.slice(2)); const help = ` Usage $ node index.js <action> <option> Action --- hello [name] Echoes hello. Defaults to "world". friends Echoes what they are Examples $ node index.js hello $ node index.js hello --name clark $ node index.js friends `; const hello = () => { const name = ? : "clark"; console.log(`hello ${name}`); }; const friends = () => console.log("are like flowers"); /** * Run a function based on the argument provided. * */ const main = async () => { try { switch (argv._[0]) { case "hello": hello(); break; case "friends": friends(); break; default: console.log(help); break; } } catch (err) { console.error(err); } }; // Run the program main();

    Now we can run our tool above!

    node index.js hello # prints hello clark node index.js hello --name tim # prints hello tim node index.js hello --name=bob # prints hello bob node index.js friends # prints are like flowers

    Get creative and start building some useful Node.js CLI tools for your workflow.

    Code can be found on my Github.

    Hello is a series that is about short, sharp examples. Read more on this series to find small gems to add your toolset.

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    Dennis O'Keeffe

    • Melbourne, Australia

    Hi, I am a professional Software Engineer. Formerly of Culture Amp, UsabilityHub, Present Company and NightGuru.
    I am currently working on Visibuild.


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    Yargs Parser


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