Den Dribbles

Yargs Parser

October 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 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))

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 = `
    $ node index.js <action> <option>

    hello [name]    Echoes hello. Defaults to "world".
    friends         Echoes what they are

    $ 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":
      case "friends":
  } catch (err) {

// Run the program

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.

A personal blog on all things of interest. Written by Dennis O'Keeffe, Follow me on Twitter