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I've read that all multi-character command options must be preceded by a double dash (--). But many flags for the find command (e.g. -name or -type) are preceded by only one dash. Why is that?

closed as too broad by Romeo Ninov, Stephen Rauch, Rui F Ribeiro, Archemar, user34720 Jul 7 '17 at 16:46

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  • This convention was initially created by GNU and used by getopt_long. Not all unix tools use it. java and X are notable exceptions – user996142 Jul 7 '17 at 15:08
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It's just a GNU style convention to precede double dashes for long options, not a 'must'. GNU programs using only one dash for long options are (mostly) from the time where the GNU C library did not yet support getopt_long to parse arguments in today's fashion.

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