Error Handling in C

There is no specific support for error handling in C program. However, there are some methods defined to find out the error using the return statement. In case of any error in C language, a function returns -1 or NULL value. A global variable errno is set for the error code. This can be used to check error in programming.

Below is the list of error numbers and their meaning:

errno valueerror
1no operation is permitted
2no such file or directory
3no such process
4interrupted system call
5I/O error
6no such device or address
7argument list too long
8exec format error
9bad file number
10no child process
11try again
12out of memory
13permission denied



#include <stdio.h>
#include <errno.h>
#include <string.h>

int main ()
FILE *fp;

if a file, which does not exists, is opened,
we will get an error

fp = fopen("IWillReturnError.text", "r");
printf("Value of errno: %d\n ", errno);
printf("The error message is : %s\n", sterror(errno));
perror("Message from perror");

return 0;


Value of errno: 2

The error message is: No such file or directory

Message from perror: No such file or directory

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