Abort (computing)

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In a computer or data transmission system, to abort means to terminate, usually in a controlled manner, a processing activity because it is impossible or undesirable for the activity to proceed. Such an action may be accompanied by diagnostic information on the aborted process.

In addition to being a verb, abort also has two noun senses. In the most general case, the event of aborting can be referred to as an abort. Sometimes the event of aborting can be given a special name, as in the case of an abort involving a Unix kernel where it is known as a kernel panic. Specifically in the context of data transmission, an abort is a function invoked by a sending station to cause the recipient to discard or ignore all bit sequences transmitted by the sender since the preceding flag sequence.

In the C programming language, abort() is a standard library function that terminates the current application and returns an error code.

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This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL, version 1.3 or later.