Command-line flags

Most Mercurial commands accept various flags.

Flag names

Flags for each command are listed in hg help for that command. Additionally, some flags, such as --repository, are global and can be used with any command - those are seen in hg help -v, and can be specified before or after the command.

Every flag has at least a long name, such as --repository. Some flags may also have a short one-letter name, such as the equivalent -R. Using the short or long name is equivalent and has the same effect.

Flags that have a short name can also be bundled together - for instance, to specify both --edit (short -e) and --interactive (short -i), one could use:

hg commit -ei

If any of the bundled flags takes a value (i.e. is not a boolean), it must be last, followed by the value:

hg commit -im 'Message'

Flag types

Mercurial command-line flags can be strings, numbers, booleans, or lists of strings.

Specifying flag values

The following syntaxes are allowed, assuming a flag 'flagname' with short name 'f':

--flagname=foo
--flagname foo
-f foo
-ffoo

This syntax applies to all non-boolean flags (strings, numbers or lists).

Specifying boolean flags

Boolean flags do not take a value parameter. To specify a boolean, use the flag name to set it to true, or the same name prefixed with 'no-' to set it to false:

hg commit --interactive
hg commit --no-interactive

Specifying list flags

List flags take multiple values. To specify them, pass the flag multiple times:

hg files --include mercurial --include tests

Setting flag defaults

In order to set a default value for a flag in an hgrc file, it is recommended to use aliases:

[alias]
commit = commit --interactive

For more information on hgrc files, see hg help config.

Overriding flags on the command line

If the same non-list flag is specified multiple times on the command line, the latest specification is used:

hg commit -m "Ignored value" -m "Used value"

This includes the use of aliases - e.g., if one has:

[alias]
committemp = commit -m "Ignored value"

then the following command will override that -m:

hg committemp -m "Used value"

Overriding flag defaults

Every flag has a default value, and you may also set your own defaults in hgrc as described above. Except for list flags, defaults can be overridden on the command line simply by specifying the flag in that location.

Hidden flags

Some flags are not shown in a command's help by default - specifically, those that are deemed to be experimental, deprecated or advanced. To show all flags, add the --verbose flag for the help command:

hg help --verbose commit