Checking the exit status of commands

Automation using shell scripts involves checking whether an earlier command executed successfully, whether a file is present, and so on. You will learn various constructs such as if, case, and so on, where we will need to check whether certain conditions are true or false. Accordingly, our script should conditionally execute various commands.

Let's enter the following command:

    $ ls

Using the Bash shell, we can check whether the preceding command executed successfully  as follows:

    $ echo $?

The preceding command will return 0 if the ls command executed successfully. The result will be non-zero, such as 1 or 2 or any other non-zero number, if the command has failed. The Bash shell stores the status of ...

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