In the last blog post, we took a look at how to implement programmable exit codes for spring command line applications by using exceptions that implement ExitCodeGenerator. This time, we will take a look at how to achieve the same without having to depend on an exception.

This approach depends on the command line runner implementing the ExitCodeGenerator. This does require the usage of System.exit, but instead of it being invoked from different command line runners, it will be used in a single place as follows:

public class Application  {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        ConfigurableApplicationContext ctx =, args);

The command line runner will now implement ExitCodeGenerator:

public class HelloWorld implements CommandLineRunner, ExitCodeGenerator {

    public void run(String... args) throws Exception {
        System.out.println("Hello World!");

    public int getExitCode() {
        return 45;

This is how the application behaves when run:

$ java -jar build/libs/exit-code-demo-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar > /dev/null 2>&1
$ echo $?

This allows us to delegate how the application should exit to the command line runners themselves, without having to throw exceptions.

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, you can get in touch with me on Twitter @sdqali.

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