Recently I needed to create a bunch of files that had names starting with a dash. If you simply run touch followed by the filename, if the filename starts with a dash, it will throw an error that there’s an illegal option. Therefore, you must escape out the dash by passing a double dash in front of it. For example, to create a file with a dash in the name, use the following syntax:
touch -- -man
Likewise, to remove that file:
rm -- -man
You can also use the double dash when passing commands to ssh rather than have ssh interpret them as arguments, making it useful for command and control scripting. For example, to ssh into a host and repair a volume:
ssh cedge:firstname.lastname@example.org -- cvfsck goldengirls --nv
The double dash indicates there are no more command line options for the command in front of it.