Table D-1. "Reserved" Exit Codes
According to the table, exit codes 1 - 2, 126 - 165, and 255  have special meanings, and should therefore be avoided as user-specified exit parameters. Ending a script with exit 127 would certainly cause confusion when troubleshooting (is the error a "command not found" or a user-defined one?). However, many scripts use an exit 1 as a general bailout upon error. Since exit code 1 signifies so many possible errors, this might not add any additional ambiguity, but, on the other hand, it probably would not be very informative either.
There has been an attempt to systematize exit status numbers (see /usr/include/sysexits.h), but this is intended for C and C++ programmers. A similar standard for scripting might be appropriate. The author of this document proposes restricting user-defined exit codes to the range 64 - 113 (in addition to 0, for success), to conform with the C/C++ standard. This would allot 50 valid codes, and make troubleshooting scripts more straightforward.
All user-defined exit codes in the accompanying examples to this document now conform to this standard, except where overriding circumstances exist, as in Example 9-2.
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