yargs the modern, pirate-themed, successor to optimist.

argument, args, option, parser, parsing, cli, command
npm install yargs@13.3.0



Yargs be a node.js library fer hearties tryin' ter parse optstrings

Build Status Coverage Status NPM version js-standard-style Conventional Commits Slack

Description :

Yargs helps you build interactive command line tools, by parsing arguments and generating an elegant user interface.

It gives you:

  • commands and (grouped) options (my-program.js serve --port=5000).
  • a dynamically generated help menu based on your arguments.
  • bash-completion shortcuts for commands and options.
  • and tons more.


Stable version:

npm i yargs

Bleeding edge version with the most recent features:

npm i yargs@next

Usage :

Simple Example

#!/usr/bin/env node
const argv = require('yargs').argv

if (argv.ships > 3 && argv.distance < 53.5) {
  console.log('Plunder more riffiwobbles!')
} else {
  console.log('Retreat from the xupptumblers!')
$ ./plunder.js --ships=4 --distance=22
Plunder more riffiwobbles!

$ ./plunder.js --ships 12 --distance 98.7
Retreat from the xupptumblers!

Complex Example

#!/usr/bin/env node
require('yargs') // eslint-disable-line
  .command('serve [port]', 'start the server', (yargs) => {
      .positional('port', {
        describe: 'port to bind on',
        default: 5000
  }, (argv) => {
    if (argv.verbose) console.info(`start server on :${argv.port}`)
  .option('verbose', {
    alias: 'v',
    default: false

Run the example above with --help to see the help for the application.

Community :

Having problems? want to contribute? join our community slack.

Documentation :

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