SYSEXITS(3)             NetBSD Library Functions Manual            SYSEXITS(3)

     sysexits -- preferable exit codes for programs

     #include <sysexits.h>

     It is not a good practice to call exit(3) with arbitrary values to indi-
     cate a failure condition when ending a program.  In addition to the two
     standard constants in <stdlib.h>, EXIT_SUCCESS and EXIT_FAILURE, the
     header <sysexits.h> defines few exit codes that can be used as a parame-
     ter to the exit(3) function.  By using these constants the caller of the
     process can get a rough estimation about the failure class without look-
     ing 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 other exit statuses that random programs may already return.  The
     meaning of the codes is approximately as follows:

     EX_USAGE (64)         The command was used incorrectly, e.g., with the
                           wrong number of arguments, a bad flag, a 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 it).

     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 catchall message when something you
                           wanted to do does not work, but you do not know

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

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

     EX_OSFILE (72)        Some system file (e.g., /etc/passwd, /var/run/utmp,
                           etc.) 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 (e.g.) 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 file sys-
                           tem 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
     parenthesis for easy reference.

     err(3), exit(3), stdlib(3)

     The <sysexits.h> header appeared somewhere after 4.3BSD.  The manual page
     for it appeared in NetBSD 4.0.

     This manual page was written by Jörg Wunsch after the comments in

     The choice of an appropriate exit value is often ambiguous.

NetBSD 8.0                      March 25, 2010                      NetBSD 8.0

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