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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2017



ckkeywd - prompts for and validates a keyword


ckkeywd [-Q] [-W width] [-d default] [-h help] [-e error] 
     [-p prompt] [-k pid [-s signal]] keyword [...]


ckkeywd prompts a user and validates the response. It defines, among other things, a prompt message whose response should be one of a list of keywords, text for help and error messages, and a default value (which will be returned if the user responds with a carriage return). The answer returned from this command must match one of the defined list of keywords.

All messages are limited in length to 70 characters and are formatted automatically. Any white space used in the definition (including newline) is stripped. The –W option cancels the automatic formatting. When a tilde is placed at the beginning or end of a message definition, the default text will be inserted at that point, allowing both custom text and the default text to be displayed.

If the prompt, help or error message is not defined, the default message (as defined under NOTES) will be displayed.


The following options are supported:

–d default

Defines the default value as default. The default is not validated and so does not have to meet any criteria.

–e error

Defines the error message as error.

–h help

Defines the help messages as help.

–k pid

Specifies that process ID pid is to be sent a signal if the user chooses to abort.

–p prompt

Defines the prompt message as prompt.


Specifies that quit will not be allowed as a valid response.

–s signal

Specifies that the process ID pid defined with the –k option is to be sent signal signal when quit is chosen. If no signal is specified, SIGTERM is used.

–W width

Specifies that prompt, help and error messages will be formatted to a line length of width.


The following operand is supported:


Defines the keyword, or list of keywords, against which the answer will be verified.

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


Successful execution.


EOF on input, or negative width on –W option, or no keywords from which to choose, or usage error.


User termination (quit).


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:


See Also



The default prompt for ckkeywd is:

Enter appropriate value [keyword,[ . . . ],?,q]:

The default error message is:

ERROR: Please enter one of the following keywords: keyword,[ . . . ],q

The default help message is:

keyword,[ . . . ],q

When the quit option is chosen (and allowed), q is returned along with the return code 3.