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Old 07-07-2008, 06:14 PM   #1
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exit codes history

How do I access the history of the $? variable?

I know that $? returns the exit codes of the LAST executed program in your session, but is there a way to access the history of this variable such as during a pipelined set of commands in BASH and/or PERL? This would be especially useful when piping the output of your command through a grep, then testing the exit status of the original command--not grep's exit status.

I ran into this problem while writing a perl script that incorporates an rsync command.

system( "rsync -Kcpogltr --log-format=%n%L /from/dir/ /to/dir/ | grep -v /$" );
The above code will rsync the files from /from/dir/ to the files in /to/dir/. The --log-format=$n%L combined with the | grep -v /$ will print to the user all the files that have been synced (the grep bit hides the FOLDERS that normally get printed). After this call is made, I want to check the status of rsync and preform necessary error-checking, but I can't find a way around checking grep's status.

I understand that--programmatically with perl and/or bash--there is surely a way around this without the pipe, but I still want to know if there is a way to glimpse into the history of exit statues with the $? variable outside of this particular situation.

Thanks in advance!
Old 07-07-2008, 08:35 PM   #2
Mr. C.
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There is no history of exit status codes.

Bash has a array of exit status codes for a pipeline. See PIPESTATUS in man bash. Otherwise, the exit status is the status of the last command of the pipeline.


bash, codes, environment, exit, grep, perl, rsync, shell, variables

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