How to read syntax diagrams

Review the following conventions to understand how to read the syntax diagrams that are used in the command descriptions.

The syntax diagram consists of options and option arguments.
  • Options consist of a hyphen and single letter or two hyphens and multiple letters. For example: -h or --help. Options can be followed by one or more option arguments.
  • Option arguments are placed after the option. For example: [--cd=volume] In this example volume is the option argument.
Consider these conventions when reading syntax diagrams:
  • Options that are enclosed in brackets ([]) are optional. Do not include these brackets in the command.
  • Options that are enclosed in braces ({}) are required. Do not include these braces in the command.
  • Options that are not enclosed in either brackets or braces are required.
  • The names of options are case sensitive and must be typed exactly as shown. Options preceded by two dashes (--) must be specified in their entirety.
  • The names of option arguments that require substitution by actual values are italicized.
  • The pipe (|) character signifies that you choose one option or the other. For example, [a | b] indicates that you can choose either a or b, but not both. Similarly, {a | b} indicates that you must choose either a or b.
  • An ellipsis (...) signifies that you can repeat the option argument on the command line.