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Guile Reference Manual

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10.1 Using Command Line Arguments

When a Guile script is invoked, Guile makes the command line arguments accessible via the procedure command-line, which returns the arguments as a list of strings.

For example, if the script

#! /usr/local/bin/guile -s
(write (command-line))

is saved in a file `cmdline-test.scm' and invoked using the command line ./cmdline-test.scm bar.txt -o foo -frumple grob, the output is

("./cmdline-test.scm" "bar.txt" "-o" "foo" "-frumple" "grob")

If the script invocation includes a -e option, specifying a procedure to call after loading the script, Guile will call that procedure with (command-line) as its argument. So a script that uses -e doesn't need to refer explicitly to command-line in its code. For example, the script above would have identical behaviour if it was written instead like this:

#! /usr/local/bin/guile \
-e main -s
(define (main args)
  (write args)

(Note the use of the meta switch \ so that the script invocation can include more than one Guile option: See section 9.2 The Meta Switch.)

These scripts use the #! POSIX convention so that they can be executed using their own file names directly, as in the example command line ./cmdline-test.scm bar.txt -o foo -frumple grob. But they can also be executed by typing out the implied Guile command line in full, as in:

$ guile -s ./cmdline-test.scm bar.txt -o foo -frumple grob


$ guile -e main -s ./cmdline-test2.scm bar.txt -o foo -frumple grob

Even when a script is invoked using this longer form, the arguments that the script receives are the same as if it had been invoked using the short form. Guile ensures that the (command-line) or -e arguments are independent of how the script is invoked, by stripping off the arguments that Guile itself processes.

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