What Is Trap in Shell Scripting?


Angela Bailey

What Is Trap in Shell Scripting?

When writing shell scripts, it’s important to consider how your script will handle unexpected errors, interruptions, or signals. This is where the trap command becomes particularly useful. The trap command allows you to define actions that should be taken when specific events occur within your script.

Using the Trap Command:

The general syntax for using the trap command in shell scripting is as follows:

trap 'command' signal

In this syntax, ‘command’ represents the action or set of commands that you want to be executed when a specific signal occurs.

The signal can be any of the numerous signals available in shell scripting. Some commonly used signals include:

  • SIGINT (2): Generated when an interrupt signal is sent to the script, typically by pressing Ctrl+C.
  • SIGHUP (1): Generated when the terminal or session is closed.
  • SIGTERM (15): Generated when a termination signal is sent to the script.

An Example:

To illustrate the usage of the trap command, let’s consider an example where we want to ensure that a specific action is taken whenever an interrupt signal (SIGINT) is received:


# Define the action to be executed on SIGINT
trap 'echo "Interrupt signal received."' SIGINT

# Rest of your script goes here..

In this example, whenever an interrupt signal (SIGINT) is received while running this script, the action defined inside the single quotes after the trap command will be executed. In this case, it will simply display the message “Interrupt signal received.”

Common Use Cases:

The trap command can be used in various scenarios to perform actions such as:

  • Gracefully exiting the script and performing any necessary cleanup tasks.
  • Logging or reporting specific events or errors.
  • Preventing unexpected termination of a script.

The trap command is an essential tool for handling signals and errors effectively in shell scripting. By defining appropriate actions for specific signals, you can ensure that your scripts gracefully handle unexpected interruptions and provide a more robust user experience.

Remember to experiment with different signals and actions to fully understand how the trap command can be used to enhance your shell scripts!

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy