bison - GNU Project parser generator (yacc replacement)
bison [ -b file-prefix ] [ --file-prefix=file-prefix ] [ -d ] [ --defines=defines-file ] [
-g ] [ --graph=graph-file ] [ -k ] [ --token-table ] [ -l ] [ --no-lines ] [ -n ] [ --no-
parser ] [ -o outfile ] [ --output-file=outfile ] [ -p prefix ] [ --name-prefix=prefix ] [
-t ] [ --debug ] [ -v ] [ --verbose ] [ -V ] [ --version ] [ -y ] [ --yacc ] [ -h ] [
--help ] [ --fixed-output-files ] file
yacc [ similar options and operands ]
Bison is a parser generator in the style of yacc(1). It should be upwardly compatible
with input files designed for yacc.
Input files should follow the yacc convention of ending in .y. Unlike yacc, the generated
files do not have fixed names, but instead use the prefix of the input file. Moreover, if
you need to put C++ code in the input file, you can end his name by a C++-like extension
(.ypp or .y++), then bison will follow your extension to name the output file (.cpp or
.c++). For instance, a grammar description file named parse.yxx would produce the gener-
ated parser in a file named parse.tab.cxx, instead of yacc's y.tab.c or old Bison ver-
This description of the options that can be given to bison is adapted from the node Invo-
cation in the bison.texinfo manual, which should be taken as authoritative.
Bison supports both traditional single-letter options and mnemonic long option names.
Long option names are indicated with -- instead of -. Abbreviations for option names are
allowed as long as they are unique. When a long option takes an argument, like --file-
prefix, connect the option name and the argument with =.
Specify a prefix to use for all bison output file names. The names are chosen as
if the input file were named file-prefix.c.
Write an extra output file containing macro definitions for the token type names
defined in the grammar and the semantic value type YYSTYPE, as well as a few extern
If the parser output file is named name.c then this file is named name.h.
This output file is essential if you wish to put the definition of yylex in a sepa-
rate source file, because yylex needs to be able to refer to token type codes and
the variable yylval.
The behavior of --defines is the same than -d option. The only difference is that
it has an optional argument which is the name of the output filename.
Output a VCG definition of the LALR(1) grammar automaton computed by Bison. If the
grammar file is foo.y , the VCG output file will be foo.vcg.
The behavior of --graph is the same than -g option. The only difference is that it
has an optional argument which is the name of the output graph filename.
This switch causes the name.tab.c output to include a list of token names in order
by their token numbers; this is defined in the array yytname. Also generated are
#defines for YYNTOKENS, YYNNTS, YYNRULES, and YYNSTATES.
Don't put any #line preprocessor commands in the parser file. Ordinarily bison
puts them in the parser file so that the C compiler and debuggers will associate
errors with your source file, the grammar file. This option causes them to asso-
ciate errors with the parser file, treating it an independent source file in its
Do not generate the parser code into the output; generate only declarations. The
generated name.tab.c file will have only constant declarations. In addition, a
name.act file is generated containing a switch statement body containing all the
Specify the name outfile for the parser file.
The other output files' names are constructed from outfile as described under the
-v and -d switches.
Rename the external symbols used in the parser so that they start with prefix
instead of yy. The precise list of symbols renamed is yyparse, yylex, yyerror,
yylval, yychar, and yydebug.
For example, if you use -p c, the names become cparse, clex, and so on.
In the parser file, define the macro YYDEBUG to 1 if it is not already defined, so
that the debugging facilities are compiled.
Write an extra output file containing verbose descriptions of the parser states and
what is done for each type of look-ahead token in that state.
This file also describes all the conflicts, both those resolved by operator prece-
dence and the unresolved ones.
The file's name is made by removing .tab.c or .c from the parser output file name,
and adding .output instead.
Therefore, if the input file is foo.y, then the parser file is called foo.tab.c by
default. As a consequence, the verbose output file is called foo.output.
Print the version number of bison and exit.
--help Print a summary of the options to bison and exit.
Equivalent to -o y.tab.c; the parser output file is called y.tab.c, and the other
outputs are called y.output and y.tab.h. The purpose of this switch is to imitate
yacc's output file name conventions. Thus, the following shell script can substi-
tute for yacc and is often installed as yacc:
bison -y "$@"
The Bison Reference Manual, included as the file bison.texinfo in the bison source distri-
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability | SUNWbison |
|Interface Stability | Volatile |
Source for bison is available on http://opensolaris.org.