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2.6 gawk’s Exit Status

If the exit statement is used with a value (see Exit Statement), then gawk exits with the numeric value given to it.

Otherwise, if there were no problems during execution, gawk exits with the value of the C constant EXIT_SUCCESS. This is usually zero.

If an error occurs, gawk exits with the value of the C constant EXIT_FAILURE. This is usually one.

If gawk exits because of a fatal error, the exit status is 2. On non-POSIX systems, this value may be mapped to EXIT_FAILURE.