How to save an exit code to a variable in bash script

Published on February 08, 2021

I had to save the exit code from one part of the script that runs a suite of tests, then run some cleanup and finally return the exit code received previously from the tests.

I haven’t used bash scripts too often in my work so when I had to do this recently I had to spend some time looking up syntax.

This will fail the tests correctly in our Azure Devops pipeline while still cleaning up the docker containers.

The script

The part I found difficult here was the escaping. Sometimes you need double quotes and other times it’s just the variable. This is a reference in case I ever have to do this again!

Note that to run this you will have to give it permissions chmod 755


main (){
   docker-compose run node

   echo "exitCode will be $exitCode"

   docker-compose up -d chromedriver
   docker ps -a

    docker-compose down
    docker system prune -f


exit "$exitCode"

Darragh ORiordan

Hi! I'm Darragh ORiordan.

I live and work in Sydney, Australia enjoying the mountains and the ocean.

I build and support happy teams that create high quality software for the web.

Contact me on Twitter!

Get new writings, curated tech articles and coding tips!