Let’s say you want to find out the version of some software. It’s a fucking mess. The options tend to be:

<software name> -v

<software name> --version

<software name> -V

<software name> version

<software name> -version


Unfortunately they all vary. E.g.

Python understands --version and -V.

Whereas Ansible only takes --version.

ssh only understands -V whereas PHP understands -v and --version.

Finally, Java stands by itself with the odd -version.

And I still haven’t figured out how you get ls to tell you its version on the Mac:


Here’s what uses what: 


  • PHP


  • Ansible
  • awk
  • PHP
  • Python 2.7 and 3.x
  • Terraform
  • zsh


  • Python 2.7 and 3.x
  • ssh


  • kubectl
  • Terraform


  • Java


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