Command syntax conventions

The following table displays the conventions that are used in the IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (IBM SONAS) command syntax.

Table 1. Command syntax conventions
Syntax convention Description Example
Command A command is the first word or set of consecutive characters. Commands are shown in bold typeface. chexport
Argument If applicable, the words following the command are arguments. Arguments are shown in italic typeface. If brackets ([]) are not used, the command requires the argument to be used.


An option is a character, set of consecutive characters, or a word that follows the command and any arguments. Options are preceded by a single dash (–) or a double dash (--) and use a bold typeface. If brackets ([]) are not used, the command requires the option to be used. Some options use longer, more descriptive names and some options can have both a short and a long name.
Note: In IBM SONAS command syntax, you can use either single dash or double dash to precede an option. A CLI command does not require a single dash (-) for short option (-c) and a double dash (--) for long option (--option).


Variable A variable is any set of consecutive characters or word that follows an option. Variables are in italic typeface and can use capitalized letters in the character string to aid in reading comprehension. clusterID, clusterName
Brackets ([ ]) The use of brackets indicates the use of the argument, option or variable where the option is optional. [-c]
Braces ({ }) Braces identify a set of mutually exclusive options, when one option is required. { clusterID | clusterName }
Underscore ( _ ) An underscore ( _ ) indicates the default variable. [ on | off ]
Vertical bar ( | ) Mutually exclusive options are separated by a vertical bar ( | ). [ on | off ]
Ellipsis (…) An ellipsis (…) indicates that the previous option can be repeated multiple times with different values. It can be used inside or outside of brackets. source1:target1[,source2:target2][,...]
Bold Bold text designates literal information that must be entered on the command line exactly as shown. This applies to command names and nonvariable options. chexport
Italic Italic text is variable and must be replaced by whatever it represents. In the example to the right, the user would replace file_name with the name of the specific file. exportName