Require either of two arguments using argparse

Each Answer to this Q is separated by one/two green lines.

Given:

import argparse

pa = argparse.ArgumentParser()
pa.add_argument('--foo')
pa.add_argument('--bar')

print pa.parse_args('--foo 1'.split())

how do I

  • make at least one of “foo, bar” mandatory: --foo x, --bar y and --foo x --bar y are fine
  • make at most one of “foo, bar” mandatory: --foo x or --bar y are fine, --foo x --bar y is not

I think you are searching for something like mutual exclusion (at least for the second part of your question).

This way, only foo or bar will be accepted, not both.

import argparse

parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
group = parser.add_mutually_exclusive_group(required=True)
group.add_argument('--foo',action=.....)
group.add_argument('--bar',action=.....)
args = parser.parse_args()

BTW, just found another question referring to the same kind of issue.

If you need some check that is not provided by the module you can always do it manually:

pa = argparse.ArgumentParser()
...
args = pa.parse_args()

if args.foo is None and args.bar is None:
   pa.error("at least one of --foo and --bar required")


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