Bash Script Argument Parsing

Years ago we came up with a halfway decent way to parse arguments for a shell script. I am posting an example template of how we did that. The goals were to have a readable, self-contained script with most of the flexibility of normal command line argument parsing. This version even handles equal signs for assigning values — something we didn’t bother with before.


prog=$(basename "$0")

# Set defaults.

 $prog [<options>] <file1> <file2>
 $prog (-h | --help)
 -n|--number=<num> Number of things (default: $opt_number).
 -v|--verbose Verbose mode.
 -h|--help Show usage.
 <file1> File number 1.
 <file2> File number 2.
This is a template for a bash script that
handles command line options."

while true ; do
 test $# -gt 0 || break
 value=$(echo "$1" | sed -e 's/.*=//')
 test "$value" = "$1" && value=""
 case $1 in
 shift 1
 echo "$usage" >&2
 exit 1
 shift 1
 test "$value" = "" && value="$1" && shift 1

if test $# -lt 2 ; then
 echo "Error: Not enough arguments"
 echo "$usage" >&2
 exit 1

shift 1
shift 1

if test $# -gt 0 ; then
 echo "Error: Too many arguments: $*"
 echo "$usage" >&2
 exit 1

echo "opt_number: $opt_number"
echo "opt_verbose: $opt_verbose"
echo "opt_help: $opt_help"
echo "file1: $file1"
echo "file2: $file2"

Ubuntu Firewall Using UFW

It turns out that I have either been doing things the hard way, or not doing them at all in the past when it comes to firewalls on Ubuntu.  Using Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) makes it pretty easy.

To set up a system to only allow TCP communication over some port, in this case 14300, is as easy as this:

sudo apt-get install ufw
sudo ufw allow 14300/tcp
sudo ufw logging on
sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw status

That should report something like the following when running the ‘sudo ufw status’ command:

Status: active
To Action From
-- ------ ----
14300/tcp ALLOW Anywhere
14300/tcp (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)

This should maintain settings between reboots — at least it does in Ubuntu 14.04. ¬†Reboot and run ‘sudo ufw status’ to check and make sure.

There is more information about this at