Command line arguments in C


Consider a weather prediction app that has been created in any language. When we launch the software, a graphic user interface (GUI) will appear where you can type in the search query and press enter to learn the weather conditions at that moment. However, the command-line argument comes into consideration if you don’t have that GUI, which implies you can’t tap on just about any boxes. This is where we provide the inputs in the terminal block to do any tasks.

Commandline arguments in C are a crucial element in C programming. We may complete any operation using the command line options. When you need to manage your software from outside, it is typically employed.

What exactly is a command line?

Your device’s text-based commands lines interface lets you submit instructions for rapid implementation. The capabilities of a command line are essentially identical to those of a graphical user interface. Numerous jobs are easier to accomplish and may be completed more quickly.

For instance:

  • Using the command line, you may explore the files and folders on your system.
  • The command line may be programmed to simplify difficult activities, as seen in the following example:
  • It takes a lot of time to transfer data from more than 50 files into a single file. On the other side, a single operation at the command line can replicate information from 50 files in under a minute, with a ton more.

Command line arguments in C: What are they?

The contents of command line arguments in C, which are straightforward variables provided on the device’s command-line interface, are delivered to your application throughout execution. Command-line arguments are being used to send numbers or documents to a program when it begins running without user intervention.

Command line arguments in C are those parameters in C that are present in the main functionality of a program.

There are two ways to define the primary function: one with no arguments (void) and another with two arguments. The variables are argc & argv, wherein args is a sequence of command line arguments in C while argc is numeric.

Although argv is just a pointer array referring to each variable sent to the program, argc represents the total number of parameters provided. The significance of argc will be 1 in the absence of any argument. Arc’s value must not be negative.

Characteristics of command line arguments in C:

  • The primary purpose is to receive command-line arguments via argc and argv.
  • Command line parameters in C are employed to influence the application from outside. int main(int argc char **argv) is the main declaration.
  • The pointer argv[argc] is Null.
  • The final input is saved in argv[n], the very last command-line variable is saved in argv[1], as well as the program name is recorded in argv[0].
  • Instead of hard-coding the data inside of the script, command-line arguments are helpful when you wish to influence your program externally.
  • Normal control signals may be used, and we can use the terminal to sequence operations.
  • To alter the application’s basic settings and exert greater full control over it. Since it enables test scripts to launch the program, this is advantageous for testing.

Command line arguments in C: Benefits

  • We can pass an infinite number of parameters in a command-line argument.
  • We can simply transform the input to numerical or other forms because it is supplied as text in the parameters.
  • It is helpful when starting our program since it contains configuration data.

Advantages of using C language and Command line arguments

  1. Versatile language: The versatility C language is amazing. You don’t need to become an expert in your machine’s storage architecture to build applications for it because it was also made to be built with a variety of compilers and operate over most OS platforms like macOS, Windows, and Linux. Without even any prior assembling expertise, developers may rewrite their programs using the C programming language.
  2. Numerous built-in procedures in C make things easier for developers to create applications. Scanf() or printf() methods, for example, can be invoked without even being initially declared since the System immediately links those in. Several libraries offer another even larger range of these system calls, allowing you to concentrate on your work.
  3. Capability of self-extension: C is very extendable. Java and Objective-C are only two of the many languages that have been added to the language. Using preprocessors such as GCC or Clang, which might also build codes from a document that will handle things for us immediately, it is also feasible to expand C similarly.
  4. Open-source: The C language is accessible, meaning that anybody may access and alter the unique code to accommodate their purposes. The ability to construct libraries for general usage based on specific preferences or issues that need to be resolved also results from this. Because of its straightforward nature, C offers possibilities for improvement in every aspect of organized scripting language.
  5. Standard programming language: C contains an initial and closure bracket for each code block, making it a structured programming language. The programer may abbreviate their script in each method, rendering things simpler to understand by using the additional space offered by these brackets.
  6. Middle-level language: C is a computer language that could be utilized for low-level and high-level computing, making it a middle-level language. It’s a great option due to its effectiveness and mobility.
  7. Algorithmic and data structure construction: C is a fantastic choice for engine and data structure execution. Os, compiler, debugging tools, and other types of software have all been developed using C, even though it may appear to be a low-level language.
  8. Algorithmic programming language: The C language sequentially gives the computer commands. It uses procedures for activities like source and load, which is why it is termed “procedural.” Through polymorphism, encapsulation, and inheritance, C also allows object-oriented programming, allowing developers to produce maintainable code.
  9. Support for dynamic memory allocation: The C programming language allows for creating and destroying memory segments as required. Modern programming languages must have this feature since it is hard to predict how much capacity one would use.


Command line parameters in C promote engagement with the Linux kernel and aid in understanding how things work; therefore, they can be used by every developer. A user may communicate with OS or program by inputting instructions into the Command Line Interface (CLI). Following the system’s response to the instruction, the operator can write the following instruction to carry out the subsequent action. Every programming language has command-line features that make the languages more appealing and make it easier for users to engage with their systems.

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