You should check the value of $?.
From perldoc perlvar
$? The status returned by the last pipe close, backtick (``) command, successful call to wait() or waitpid(), or from the system() operator. This is just the 16-bit status word returned by the wait() system call (or else is made up to look like it).
Thus, the exit value of the subprocess is really ("$? >> 8"), and "$? & 127" gives which signal, if any, the process died from, and "$? & 128" reports whether there was a core dump.
(Mnemonic: similar to sh and ksh.)
If you have installed a signal handler for "SIGCHLD", the value of $? will usually be wrong outside that handler.
Also see "Error Indicators".
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