MirBSD manpage: sysexits(3)

SYSEXITS(3)                BSD Programmer's Manual                 SYSEXITS(3)


     sysexits - preferable exit codes for programs


     #include <sysexits.h>


     According to style(9), it is not good practice to call exit(3) with arbi-
     trary values to indicate a failure condition when ending a program. In-
     stead, the pre-defined exit codes from sysexits should be used, so the
     caller of the process can get a rough estimation about the failure class
     without looking up the source code.

     The successful exit is always indicated by a status of 0, or EX_OK. Error
     numbers begin at EX__BASE to reduce the possibility of clashing with oth-
     er exit statuses that random programs may already return. The meaning of
     the code is approximately as follows:

     EX_USAGE (64)         The command was used incorrectly, e.g., with the
                           wrong number of arguments, a bad flag, bad syntax
                           in a parameter, or whatever.

     EX_DATAERR (65)       The input data was incorrect in some way. This
                           should only be used for user's data and not system

     EX_NOINPUT (66)       An input file (not a system file) did not exist or
                           was not readable. This could also include errors
                           like "No message" to a mailer (if it cared to catch

     EX_NOUSER (67)        The user specified did not exist. This might be
                           used for mail addresses or remote logins.

     EX_NOHOST (68)        The host specified did not exist. This is used in
                           mail addresses or network requests.

     EX_UNAVAILABLE (69)   A service is unavailable. This can occur if a sup-
                           port program or file does not exist. This can also
                           be used as a catch-all message when something you
                           wanted to do doesn't work, but you don't know why.

     EX_SOFTWARE (70)      An internal software error has been detected. This
                           should be limited to non-operating system related
                           errors if possible.

     EX_OSERR (71)         An operating system error has been detected. This
                           is intended to be used for such things as "cannot
                           fork", or "cannot create pipe". It includes things
                           like getuid(2) returning a user that does not exist
                           in the passwd file.

     EX_OSFILE (72)        Some system file (e.g., /etc/passwd, /var/run/utmp)
                           does not exist, cannot be opened, or has some sort
                           of error (e.g., syntax error).

     EX_CANTCREAT (73)     A (user specified) output file cannot be created.

     EX_IOERR (74)         An error occurred while doing I/O on some file.

     EX_TEMPFAIL (75)      Temporary failure, indicating something that is not
                           really an error. In sendmail, this means that a
                           mailer, for example, could not create a connection,
                           and the request should be reattempted later.

     EX_PROTOCOL (76)      The remote system returned something that was "not
                           possible" during a protocol exchange.

     EX_NOPERM (77)        You did not have sufficient permission to perform
                           the operation. This is not intended for filesystem
                           problems, which should use EX_NOINPUT or
                           EX_CANTCREAT, but rather for higher level permis-

     EX_CONFIG (78)        Something was found in an unconfigured or miscon-
                           figured state.

     The numerical values corresponding to the symbolical ones are given in
     parentheses for easy reference.


     exit(3), style(9)


     The sysexits file appeared sometime after 4.3BSD.


     This man page was written by Joerg Wunsch after the comments in


     The choice of an appropriate exit value is often ambiguous.

MirBSD #10-current              March 31, 1996                               1

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