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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



cktime, errtime, helptime, valtime - display a prompt; verify and return a time of day


cktime [-Q] [-W width] [-f format] [-d default] [-h help] 
     [-e error] [-p prompt] [-k pid [-s signal]]
/usr/sadm/bin/errtime [-W width] [-e error] [-f format]
/usr/sadm/bin/helptime [-W width] [-h help] [-f format]
/usr/sadm/bin/valtime [-f format] input


The cktime utility prompts a user and validates the response. It defines, among other things, a prompt message whose response should be a time, text for help and error messages, and a default value (which is returned if the user responds with a RETURN). The user response must match the defined format for the time of day.

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 is 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) is displayed.

Three visual tool modules are linked to the cktime command. They are errtime (which formats and displays an error message), helptime (which formats and displays a help message), and valtime (which validates a response). These modules should be used in conjunction with FML objects. In this instance, the FML object defines the prompt. When format is defined in the errtime and helptime modules, the messages will describe the expected format.


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.

–f format

Specifies the format against which the input will be verified. Possible formats and their definitions are:

%H  =  hour (00 - 23)
%I  =  hour (00 - 12)
%M  =  minute (00 - 59)
%p  =  ante meridian or post meridian
%r  =  time as %I:%M:%S %p
%R  =  time as %H:%M (the default format)
%S  =  seconds (00 - 59)
%T  =  time as %H:%M:%S
–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:


Input to be verified against format criteria.

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


Successful execution.


EOF on input, or negative width on –W option, or usage error .


User termination (quit) .


Garbled format argument.


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


See Also



The default prompt for cktime is:

Enter a time of day [?,q]:

The default error message is:

ERROR: Please enter the time of day.  Format is <format>.

The default help message is:

Please enter the time of day.  Format is <format>.

When the quit option is chosen (and allowed), q is returned along with the return code 3. The valtime module will not produce any output. It returns 0 for success and non-zero for failure.