2.6 gawk’s Exit Status

If the exit statement is used with a value (see section The exit Statement), then gawk exits with the numeric value given to it.

Otherwise, if there were no problems during execution, gawk exits with the value of the C constant EXIT_SUCCESS. This is usually zero.

If an error occurs, gawk exits with the value of the C constant EXIT_FAILURE. This is usually one.

If gawk exits because of a fatal error, the exit status is two. On non-POSIX systems, this value may be mapped to EXIT_FAILURE.