RETURN(1P) POSIX Programmer's Manual RETURN(1P)PROLOG
This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux
implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding
Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may
not be implemented on Linux.
NAMEreturn — return from a function or dot script
The return utility shall cause the shell to stop executing the current
function or dot script. If the shell is not currently executing a func‐
tion or dot script, the results are unspecified.
See the DESCRIPTION.
The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.
The value of the special parameter '?' shall be set to n, an unsigned
decimal integer, or to the exit status of the last command executed if
n is not specified. If the value of n is greater than 255, the results
are undefined. When return is executed in a trap action, the last com‐
mand is considered to be the command that executed immediately preced‐
ing the trap action.
CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS
The following sections are informative.
The behavior of return when not in a function or dot script differs
between the System V shell and the KornShell. In the System V shell
this is an error, whereas in the KornShell, the effect is the same as
The results of returning a number greater than 255 are undefined
because of differing practices in the various historical implementa‐
tions. Some shells AND out all but the low-order 8 bits; others allow
larger values, but not of unlimited size.
See the discussion of appropriate exit status values under exit.
Section 2.9.5, Function Definition Command, Section 2.14, Special
Built-In Utilities, dot
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
-- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electri‐
cal and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is
POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the
event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard
is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online
at http://www.unix.org/online.html .
Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are
most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source
files to man page format. To report such errors, see https://www.ker‐
IEEE/The Open Group 2013 RETURN(1P)