How to read syntax diagrams

Review the conventions used in syntax diagrams to understand the command descriptions.

The syntax diagram consists of options and option arguments. Options consist of a hyphen and single letter (for example, -h) or two hyphens and multiple letters (for example, -- help). Options can be followed by one or more option arguments (for example, as illustrated in [--cd=volume].

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.