I have a TCL expect script that runs a scp command for uploading a config file to my DNS server:

#!/usr/bin/expect -f

set config "~/dnsmasq.conf"

spawn /usr/bin/scp "$config" root@

expect {
    -re ".*yes.*no.*" {
        exp_send "yes\r"
    -re ".*password.*" {
        exp_send "$password\r"
        expect {
            -re ".*denied.*" {
                exit 7

I would like to return a specific error code if the scp utility can not be found. Currently the script exits with a status of 1. If the script exits with a status of 7, I can handle that because I know it's an access denied error. The error that shows up in the Apache log is:

couldn't execute "/usr/bin/scp": no such file or directory
    while executing
"spawn /usr/bin/scp "$config" root@"

How can I return an error code of 5 or something at this point?

1 Answer 1


Best way to do it would be to check if it exists and is executable:

if { ! ([file exists /usr/bin/scp] && [file executable /usr/bin/scp])} {
    puts stderr "/usr/bin/scp does not exist or is not executable"
    exit 7

spawn /usr/bin/scp ...

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