I have this script that I have cobbled together from bits of lore I've gleaned from googling:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

usage() {
    declare -r script_name=$(basename "$0")
    echo """
"${script_name}" [option] <name>

    -host <foo.com|bar.com|baz.com|...>
    -accountId <001123456789|002123456789|...>

main() {
    if [[ $# -eq 0 ]]; then
        exit 1

OPTIONS=$(getopt -o '' -l help,host,accountId -- "$@")

eval set -- "$OPTIONS"

while true
    case $1 in
    -help) usage
           exit 0
    -accountId) ACCOUNTID=$2; shift 2;;
    -host) HOST=$2 shift 2;;
    --) shift ; break ;;

echo host: $HOST, accountId: $ACCOUNTID


main "$@"

Here's what it outputs:

$ . test.sh -help
host: , accountId:

$ . test.sh -host foo.com -accountId 001123456789
host: , accountId:

What have I done wrong?

  • A long option is usually preceded by --, as in --accountId. – Kusalananda Apr 12 '19 at 15:57

Minor bug, there should be a ; after the HOST=$2

If you want to use a single dash in front of long options, you can add the -a option to getopt.

Also as the host and accountId have required options, they should be followed by a :

OPTIONS=$( getopt -a -o '' -l help,host:,accountId: -- "$@" )

(camelCase isn't the best for options, how about just accountid instead of accountId)

And I generally prefer to give both long and short options, so would use:

OPTIONS=$( getopt -a -o 'h:a:' -l help,host:,accountId: -- "$@" )


-a|--accountId) ACCOUNTID=$2; shift 2;;
-h|--host) HOST=$2; shift 2;;

You should also check the result code from getopt, if the options are wrong you don't want to continue:

So after the OPTIONS=$(... line add the following:

if [[ $? -ne 0 ]] ; then
    usage ; exit 1

And on a minor aside, if the usage is being displayed, you probably always want to exit, so why not put the exit 1 at the end of usage, then you could use:

[[ $# -eq 0 ]] && usage
[[ $? -ne 0 ]] && usage
--help) usage;;

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