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In this posting, the following solution was posted:

function cmakerel {
    if expr match "$PWD" '*bld*' >/dev/null ; then
        cmake -D....
        echo "Wrong directory!"

cmakerel will invoke a cmake command, if PWD has bld in its name.

However, I normally invoke this command like: cmakerel && make check


How do I modify the code above so that it returns a value on failure such that the second part, make check does not get invoked?

Probably returning some kind of non-zero value should work.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted


return $?

below the cmake call to exit the function with the same exit code as cmake, and add

return 1

below the echo call to exit with 1, which is non-zero and therefore indicates an error.

You can alternatively (if you call both commands in combination) add the make call to this function:

 cmake [args] && make -j4

Or, to allow e.g. for more fine-grained error handling:

cmake [args]
local _ret=$?
if [ $_ret -ne 0 ] ; then
   echo "cmake returned with exit code $_ret, aborting!" >&2
   return $_ret
make -j4

If you call it as a standalone program, i.e. store the function in a shell script, and invoke e.g. as


then you can use exit instead of return to abort the whole program/subshell.

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oops - on failure, it exited from my shell! Any alternative? – kfmfe04 Dec 25 '11 at 20:35
@kfmfe04 I thought you called this as a shell script program, my bad. You can always simply return without doing the next steps. – Daniel Beck Dec 25 '11 at 20:41
tyvm - works great! – kfmfe04 Dec 25 '11 at 20:57
@kfmfe04 There was a typo in one of the snippets I only just now fixed. Sorry about that. – Daniel Beck Dec 26 '11 at 9:50

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