Common options for vector programs

All GDAL OGR command line programs support the following common options.


Report the version of GDAL and exit.


Report detailed information about GDAL in use.


List all vector formats supported by this GDAL build (read-only and read-write) and exit. The format support is indicated as follows:

  • ro is read-only driver

  • rw is read or write (i.e. supports GDALDriver::CreateCopy())

  • rw+ is read, write and update (i.e. supports GDALDriver::Create())

  • A v is appended for formats supporting virtual IO (/vsimem, /vsigzip, /vsizip, etc).

  • A s is appended for formats supporting subdatasets.

The order in which drivers are listed is the one in which they are registered, which determines the order in which they are successively probed when opening a dataset. Most of the time, this order does not matter, but in some situations, several drivers may recognize the same file. The -if option of some utilities can be specified to restrict opening the dataset with a subset of drivers (generally one). Note that it does not force those drivers to open the dataset. In particular, some drivers have requirements on file extensions. Alternatively, the GDAL_SKIP configuration option can also be used to exclude one or several drivers.

--format <format>

List detailed information about a single format driver. The format should be the short name reported in the --formats list, such as GML.

--optfile <filename>

Read the named file and substitute the contents into the command line options list. Lines beginning with # will be ignored. Multi-word arguments may be kept together with double quotes.

--config <key> <value>

Sets the named configuration keyword to the given value, as opposed to setting them as environment variables. Some common configuration keywords are SHAPE_ENCODING (force shapefile driver to read DBF files with the given character encoding) and CPL_TMPDIR (define the location of temporary files). Individual drivers may be influenced by other configuration options.

--debug <value>

Control what debugging messages are emitted. A value of ON will enable all debug messages. A value of OFF will disable all debug messages. Otherwise, a debug message will be emitted if its category appears somewhere in the value string.


Gives a brief usage message for the generic GDAL OGR command line options and exit.