Process::Status - a handle on process termination, like $?


version 0.010


When you run a system command with system or qx`` or a number of other mechanisms, the process termination status gets put into $? as an integer. In C, it's just an integer, and it stores a few pieces of data in different bits.

Process::Status just provides a few simple methods to make it easier to inspect. It exists almost entirely to provide as_struct and as_string, which provide a simple decomposition of $?.

Methods called on Process::Status without first calling a constructor will work on an implicitly-constructed object using the current value of $?. To get an object for a specific value, you can call new and pass an integer. You can also call new with no arguments to get an object for the current value of $?, if you want to keep that ugly variable out of your code.


This library should run on perls released even an extremely long time ago. It should work on any version of perl released in the last ten years.

Although it may work on older versions of perl, no guarantee is made that the minimum required version will not be increased. The version may be increased for any reason, and there is no promise that patches will be accepted to lower the minimum required perl.



  my $ps = Process::Status->new( $status );
  my $ps = Process::Status->new; # acts as if you'd passed $?


This returns the value of the integer return value, as you might have found in $?.


This method returns true if the status code is zero.


This method returns the exit status encoded in the status. In other words, it's the number in the top eight bits.


This returns the signal caught by the process, or zero.


This method returns true if the process dumped core.


This method returns a hashref describing the status. Its exact contents may change over time; it is meant for human, not computer, consumption.


This method returns a string describing the status. Its exact contents may change over time; it is meant for human, not computer, consumption.

Roughly, you might get things like this:

  exited 0
  exited 92
  exited 2, caught SIGDERP
  exited 2, caught SIGSEGV; dumped core



This method does nothing if $? is 0. Otherwise, it croaks with a message like:

  your-program-name exited 13, caught SIGNES

If a program name is not provided, "program" is used.


Ricardo Signes <>


  • Michael McClimon <>

  • Ricardo Signes <>


This software is copyright (c) 2013 by Ricardo Signes.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.