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2.3 Exit status

An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value indicates failure. GNU sed returns the following exit status error values:


Successful completion.


Invalid command, invalid syntax, invalid regular expression or a GNU sed extension command used with --posix.


One or more of the input file specified on the command line could not be opened (e.g. if a file is not found, or read permission is denied). Processing continued with other files.


An I/O error, or a serious processing error during runtime, GNU sed aborted immediately.

Additionally, the commands q and Q can be used to terminate sed with a custom exit code value (this is a GNU sed extension):

$ echo | sed 'Q42' ; echo $?