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I made the following script:

# !/bin/bash

# OUTPUT-COLORING
red='\e[0;31m'
green='\e[0;32m'
NC='\e[0m' # No Color

# FUNCTIONS
# directoryExists - Does the directory exist?
function directoryExists {
    cd $1
    if [ $? = 0 ]
            then
                    echo -e "${green}$1${NC}"
            else
                    echo -e "${red}$1${NC}"
    fi
}

# EXE
directoryExists "~/foobar"
directoryExists "/www/html/drupal"

The script works, but beside my echoes, there is also the output when

cd $1

fails on execution.

testscripts//test_labo3: line 11: cd: ~/foobar: No such file or directory

Is it possible to catch this?

share|improve this question
    
Just an FYI, you can also do this a lot simpler; test -d /path/to/directory ( or [[ -d /path/to/directory ]] in bash ) will tell you whether a given target is a directory or not, and it will do it quietly. – Patrick Oct 22 '13 at 12:36
    
@Patrick, that just tests if it's a directory, not if you can cd into it. – Stéphane Chazelas Oct 22 '13 at 12:54
    
@StephaneChazelas yes. The function name is directoryExists. – Patrick Oct 22 '13 at 13:57
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your script changes directories as it runs, which means it won't work with a series of relative pathnames. You then commented later that you only wanted to check for directory existence, not the ability to use cd, so answers don't need to use cd at all. Revised. Using tput and colours from man terminfo:

#!/bin/bash -u
# OUTPUT-COLORING
red=$( tput setaf 1 )
green=$( tput setaf 2 )
NC=$( tput setaf 0 )      # or perhaps: tput sgr0

# FUNCTIONS
# directoryExists - Does the directory exist?
function directoryExists {
    # was: do the cd in a sub-shell so it doesn't change our own PWD
    # was: if errmsg=$( cd -- "$1" 2>&1 ) ; then
    if [ -d "$1" ] ; then
        # was: echo "${green}$1${NC}"
        printf "%s\n" "${green}$1${NC}"
    else
        # was: echo "${red}$1${NC}"
        printf "%s\n" "${red}$1${NC}"
        # was: optional: printf "%s\n" "${red}$1 -- $errmsg${NC}"
    fi
}

(Edited to use the more invulnerable printf instead of the problematic echo that might act on escape sequences in the text.)

share|improve this answer
    
That also fixes (unless xpg_echo is on) the issues when filenames contain backslash characters. – Stéphane Chazelas Oct 22 '13 at 14:28

Use set -e to set exit-on-error mode: if a simple command returns a nonzero status (indicating failure), the shell exits.

Beware that set -e doesn't always kick in. Commands in test positions are allowed to fail (e.g. if failing_command, failing_command || fallback). Commands in subshell only lead to exiting the subshell, not the parent: set -e; (false); echo foo displays foo.

Alternatively, or in addition, in bash (and ksh and zsh, but not plain sh), you can specify a command that's executed in case a command returns a nonzero status, with the ERR trap, e.g. trap 'err=$?; echo >&2 "Exiting on error $err"; exit $err' ERR. Note that in cases like (false); …, the ERR trap is executed in the subshell, so it can't cause the parent to exit.

share|improve this answer
    
Recently I experimented a little and discovered a convenient way of fixing || behavior, which enables to easily do proper error handling without using traps. See my answer. What do you think about that method? – skozin Jan 11 at 16:36
    
@sam.kozin I don't have time to review your answer in detail, it looks good on principle. Apart from portability, what are the benefits over ksh/bash/zsh's ERR trap? – Gilles Jan 11 at 17:07
    
Probably the only benefit is composability, as you don't risk to overwrite another trap that was set before you function runs. Which is a useful feature when you're writing some common function that you will later source and use from other scripts. Another benefit might be full POSIX compatibility, though it is not so important as ERR pseudo-signal is supported in all major shells. Thanks for the review! =) – skozin Jan 11 at 17:20
    
@sam.kozin I forgot to write in my previous comment: you may want to post this on Code Review and post a link in the chatroom. – Gilles Jan 11 at 17:24
    
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try to follow it. Didn't know about Code Review. – skozin Jan 11 at 17:27

To expand on the @Gilles' answer:

Indeed, set -e doesn't work inside commands if you use || operator after them, even if you run them in a subshell; e.g., this wouldn't work:

#!/bin/sh

# prints:
#
# --> outer
# --> inner
# ./so_1.sh: line 16: some_failed_command: command not found
# <-- inner
# <-- outer

set -e

outer() {
  echo '--> outer'
  (inner) || {
    exit_code=$?
    echo '--> cleanup'
    return $exit_code
  }
  echo '<-- outer'
}

inner() {
  set -e
  echo '--> inner'
  some_failed_command
  echo '<-- inner'
}

outer

But || operator is needed to prevent returning from the outer function before cleanup.

There is a little trick that can be used to fix this: run the inner command in background, and then immediately wait for it. The wait builtin will return the exit code of the inner command, and now you're using || after wait, not the inner function, so set -e works properly inside the latter:

#!/bin/sh

# prints:
#
# --> outer
# --> inner
# ./so_2.sh: line 27: some_failed_command: command not found
# --> cleanup

set -e

outer() {
  echo '--> outer'
  inner &
  wait $! || {
    exit_code=$?
    echo '--> cleanup'
    return $exit_code
  }
  echo '<-- outer'
}

inner() {
  set -e
  echo '--> inner'
  some_failed_command
  echo '<-- inner'
}

outer

Here is the generic function that builds upon this idea. It should work in all POSIX-compatible shells if you remove local keywords, i.e. replace all local x=y with just x=y:

# [CLEANUP=cleanup_cmd] run cmd [args...]
#
# `cmd` and `args...` A command to run and its arguments.
#
# `cleanup_cmd` A command that is called after cmd has exited,
# and gets passed the same arguments as cmd. Additionally, the
# following environment variables are available to that command:
#
# - `RUN_CMD` contains the `cmd` that was passed to `run`;
# - `RUN_EXIT_CODE` contains the exit code of the command.
#
# If `cleanup_cmd` is set, `run` will return the exit code of that
# command. Otherwise, it will return the exit code of `cmd`.
#
run() {
  local cmd="$1"; shift
  local exit_code=0

  local e_was_set=1; if ! is_shell_attribute_set e; then
    set -e
    e_was_set=0
  fi

  "$cmd" "$@" &

  wait $! || {
    exit_code=$?
  }

  if [ "$e_was_set" = 0 ] && is_shell_attribute_set e; then
    set +e
  fi

  if [ -n "$CLEANUP" ]; then
    RUN_CMD="$cmd" RUN_EXIT_CODE="$exit_code" "$CLEANUP" "$@"
    return $?
  fi

  return $exit_code
}


is_shell_attribute_set() { # attribute, like "x"
  case "$-" in
    *"$1"*) return 0 ;;
    *)    return 1 ;;
  esac
}

Example of usage:

#!/bin/sh
set -e

# Source the file with the definition of `run` (previous code snippet).
# Alternatively, you may paste that code directly here and comment the next line.
. ./utils.sh


main() {
  echo "--> main: $@"
  CLEANUP=cleanup run inner "$@"
  echo "<-- main"
}


inner() {
  echo "--> inner: $@"
  sleep 0.5; if [ "$1" = 'fail' ]; then
    oh_my_god_look_at_this
  fi
  echo "<-- inner"
}


cleanup() {
  echo "--> cleanup: $@"
  echo "    RUN_CMD = '$RUN_CMD'"
  echo "    RUN_EXIT_CODE = $RUN_EXIT_CODE"
  sleep 0.3
  echo '<-- cleanup'
  return $RUN_EXIT_CODE
}

main "$@"

Running the example:

$ ./so_3 fail; echo "exit code: $?"

--> main: fail
--> inner: fail
./so_3: line 15: oh_my_god_look_at_this: command not found
--> cleanup: fail
    RUN_CMD = 'inner'
    RUN_EXIT_CODE = 127
<-- cleanup
exit code: 127

$ ./so_3 pass; echo "exit code: $?"

--> main: pass
--> inner: pass
<-- inner
--> cleanup: pass
    RUN_CMD = 'inner'
    RUN_EXIT_CODE = 0
<-- cleanup
<-- main
exit code: 0

The only thing that you need to be aware of when using this method is that all modifications of Shell variables done from the command you pass to run will not propagate to the calling function, because the command runs in a subshell.

share|improve this answer

You don't say what exactly you mean by catch --- report and continue; abort further processing?

Since cd returns a non-zero status on failure, you could do:

cd -- "$1" && echo OK || echo NOT_OK

You could simply exit on failure:

cd -- "$1" || exit 1

Or, echo your own message and exit:

cd -- "$1" || { echo NOT_OK; exit 1; }

And/or suppress the error provided by cd on failure:

cd -- "$1" 2>/dev/null || exit 1

By standards, commands should put error messages on STDERR (file descriptor 2). Thus 2>/dev/null says redirect STDERR to the "bit-bucket" known by /dev/null.

(don't forget to quote your variables and mark the end of options for cd).

share|improve this answer
    
@Stephane Chazelas point of quoting and signaling end-of-options well taken. Thanks for editing. – JRFerguson Oct 22 '13 at 13:36

Actually for your case I would say that the logic can be improved.

Instead of cd and then check if it exists, check if it exists then go into the directory.

if [ -d "$1" ]
then
     printf "${green}${NC}\\n" "$1"
     cd -- "$1"
else 
     printf "${red}${NC}\\n" "$1"
fi  

But if your purpose is to silence the possible errors then cd -- "$1" 2>/dev/null, but this will make you debug in the future harder. You can check the if testing flags at: Bash if documentation:

share|improve this answer
    
This answer fails to quote the $1 variable and will fail if that variable contains blanks or other shell metacharacters. It also fails to check whether the user has permission to cd into it. – Ian D. Allen Oct 22 '13 at 13:38
    
I was actually trying to check if a certain directory existed, not necessarily cd to it. But because I didn't know better, I thought trying to cd to it would cause an error if not existed so why not catch it? I didn't know about the if [ -d $1 ] that's exactly what I needed. So, thank you a lot! (I'm used to proram Java, and checking for a directory in an if statement is not exactly common in Java) – Thomas De Wilde Oct 22 '13 at 18:30

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