I'm trying to match exit codes of a process that is documented to return hexadecimal exit codes (e.g. 0x00 for success, 0x40 - 0x4F on user error, 0x50 - 0x5F on internal error, etc.). I'd like to handle the exit code via a case statement, but the "obvious" solution doesn't match:

$ $val = 10

$ case $val in
>   0xA) echo match;;
>   *) echo no match;;
> esac
no match

Is there a readable way to match hexadecimal values in a case statement?

3 Answers 3


Yes, the double-parentheses arithmetic operator will display hex values as decimal, letting case match them.

$ echo $((0xA))

$ case $val in
>   $((0xA))) echo match;;
>   *) echo no match;;
> esac

You could printf the value to a hex string:

case $(printf '%02x' $val) in
    0a) echo match;;
     *) echo no match;;

This will allow you to match entire classes of error from your application:

case $(printf '%02x' $?) in
    00) echo success;;
    4?) echo user error;;
    5?) echo internal error;;
     *) echo unrecognised error;;

If the process return the string 0x0A, your case will fail then using 0xA. If it is really using numbers, you should use 10 in stead.

  • This doesn't answer the question; clearly I can use 10, but the exit codes are only meaningful in hex. Exit codes are not strings, they'll never be 0x0A.
    – dimo414
    Jul 16, 2015 at 1:53
  • Now i understand your question. Jul 16, 2015 at 2:01
  • Can you mark the top answer as the answer? Jul 16, 2015 at 2:03

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