MAN Solaris - ckitem (1)



ckitem, erritem, helpitem - build a menu; prompt for and return a menu item


Exit Status
See Also


ckitem [-Q] [-W width] [-uno] [-f filename] [-l label]
    [ [-i invis] [,]...] [-m max] [-d default] [-h help]
    [-e  error] [-p prompt] [-k pid [-s signal]]
    [choice [...]]

/usr/sadm/bin/erritem [-W width] [-e error] [choice [..]]

/usr/sadm/bin/helpitem [-W width] [-h help] [choice [..]]




The ckitem utility builds a menu and prompts the user to choose one item from a menu of items. It then verifies the response. Options for this command define, among other things, a prompt message whose response will be a menu item, text for help and error messages, and a default value (which will be returned if the user responds with a carriage return).

By default, the menu is formatted so that each item is prepended by a number and is printed in columns across the terminal. Column length is determined by the longest choice. Items are alphabetized.

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.

Two visual tool modules are linked to the ckitem command. They are erritem (which formats and displays an error message) and helpitem (which formats and displays a help message). These modules should be used in conjunction with FML objects. In this instance, the FML object defines the prompt. When choice is defined in these modules, the messages will describe the available menu choice (or choices).


The following options are supported:

-d default

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

-e error

Define the error message as error.

-f filename

Define a file, filename, which contains a list of menu items to be displayed. (The format of this file is: token<tab>description. Lines beginning with a pound sign (#) are designated as comments and ignored.)

-h help

Define the help messages as help.

-i invis

Define invisible menu choices (those which will not be printed in the menu). (For example, ‘‘all’’ used as an invisible choice would mean it is a legal option but does not appear in the menu. Any number of invisible choices may be defined.) Invisible choices should be made known to a user either in the prompt or in a help message.

-k pid

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

-l label

Define a label, label, to print above the menu.

-m max

Define the maximum number of menu choices that the user can choose. The default is 1.


Specify that menu items should not be displayed in alphabetical order.


Specify that only one menu token will be returned.

-p prompt

Define the prompt message as prompt.


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

-s signal

Specify that 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.


Specify that menu items should be displayed as an unnumbered list.

-W width

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


The following operand is supported:


Define menu items. Items should be separated by white space or newline.


The following exit values are returned:


Successful execution.


EOF on input, or negative width on -W option, or inability to open file on -f option, or usage error.


User termination (quit).


No choices from which to choose.


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





The user may input the number of the menu item if choices are numbered or as much of the string required for a unique identification of the item. Long menus are paged with 10 items per page.

When menu entries are defined both in a file (by using the -f option) and also on the command line, they are usually combined alphabetically. However, if the -n option is used to suppress alphabetical ordering, then the entries defined in the file are shown first, followed by the options defined on the command line.

The default prompt for ckitem is:

Enter selection [?,??,q]:

One question mark will give a help message and then redisplay the prompt. Two question marks will give a help message and then redisplay the menu label, the menu and the prompt.

The default error message if you typed a number is:

ERROR: Bad numeric choice specification

The default error message if you typed a string is:

ERROR: Entry does not match available menu selection. Enter the number
of the menu item you wish to select, the token which is associated
with the menu item, or a partial string which uniquely identifies the
token for the menu item. Enter ?? to reprint the menu.

The default help message is:

Enter the number of the menu item you wish to select, the token
which is associated with the menu item, or a partial string which
uniquely identifies the token for the menu item. Enter ? to
reprint the menu.

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

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SunOS 5.11 ckitem (1) 14 Sep 1992
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