MirBSD manpage: pthread_setcancelstate(3), pthread_setcanceltype(3), pthread_testcancel(3)

PTHREAD_TESTCANCEL(3)      BSD Programmer's Manual       PTHREAD_TESTCANCEL(3)


     pthread_setcancelstate, pthread_setcanceltype, pthread_testcancel - set
     cancelability state


     #include <pthread.h>

     pthread_setcancelstate(int state, int *oldstate);

     pthread_setcanceltype(int type, int *oldtype);



     The pthread_setcancelstate() function atomically both sets the calling
     thread's cancelability state to the indicated state and, if oldstate is
     not NULL, returns the previous cancelability state at the location refer-
     enced by oldstate. Legal values for state are PTHREAD_CANCEL_ENABLE and

     The pthread_setcanceltype() function atomically both sets the calling
     thread's cancelability type to the indicated type and, if oldtype is not
     NULL, returns the previous cancelability type at the location referenced
     by oldtype. Legal values for type are PTHREAD_CANCEL_DEFERRED and

     The cancelability state and type of any newly created threads, including
     the thread in which main() was first invoked, are PTHREAD_CANCEL_ENABLE
     and PTHREAD_CANCEL_DEFERRED respectively.

     The pthread_testcancel() function creates a cancellation point in the
     calling thread. The pthread_testcancel() function has no effect if cance-
     lability is disabled.

Cancelability States

     The cancelability state of a thread determines the action taken upon re-
     ceipt of a cancellation request. The thread may control cancellation in a
     number of ways.

     Each thread maintains its own "cancelability state" which may be encoded
     in two bits:

     Cancelability Enable When cancelability is PTHREAD_CANCEL_DISABLE, can-
             cellation requests against the target thread are held pending.

     Cancelability Type When cancelability is enabled and the cancelability
             type is PTHREAD_CANCEL_ASYNCHRONOUS, new or pending cancellation
             requests may be acted upon at any time. When cancelability is en-
             abled and the cancelability type is PTHREAD_CANCEL_DEFERRED, can-
             cellation requests are held pending until a cancellation point
             (see below) is reached. If cancelability is disabled, the setting
             of the cancelability type has no immediate effect as all cancel-
             lation requests are held pending; however, once cancelability is
             enabled again the new type will be in effect.

Cancellation Points

     Cancellation points will occur when a thread is executing the following
     functions: close(), creat(), fcntl(), fsync(), msync(), nanosleep(),
     open(), pause(), pthread_cond_timedwait(), pthread_cond_wait(),
     pthread_join(), pthread_testcancel(), read(), sigwaitinfo(), sig-
     suspend(), sigwait(), sleep(), system(), tcdrain(), wait(), waitpid(),


     If successful, the pthread_setcancelstate() and pthread_setcanceltype()
     functions will return zero. Otherwise, an error number shall be returned
     to indicate the error.

     The pthread_setcancelstate() and pthread_setcanceltype() functions are
     used to control the points at which a thread may be asynchronously can-
     celled. For cancellation control to be usable in modular fashion, some
     rules must be followed.

     For purposes of this discussion, consider an object to be a generaliza-
     tion of a procedure. It is a set of procedures and global variables writ-
     ten as a unit and called by clients not known by the object. Objects may
     depend on other objects.

     First, cancelability should only be disabled on entry to an object, never
     explicitly enabled. On exit from an object, the cancelability state
     should always be restored to its value on entry to the object.

     This follows from a modularity argument: if the client of an object (or
     the client of an object that uses that object) has disabled cancelabili-
     ty, it is because the client doesn't want to have to worry about how to
     clean up if the thread is cancelled while executing some sequence of ac-
     tions. If an object is called in such a state and it enables cancelabili-
     ty and a cancellation request is pending for that thread, then the thread
     will be cancelled, contrary to the wish of the client that disabled.

     Second, the cancelability type may be explicitly set to either deferred
     or asynchronous upon entry to an object. But as with the cancelability
     state, on exit from an object that cancelability type should always be
     restored to its value on entry to the object.

     Finally, only functions that are cancel-safe may be called from a thread
     that is asynchronously cancelable.


     The function pthread_setcancelstate() may fail with:

     [EINVAL]      The specified state is not PTHREAD_CANCEL_ENABLE or

     The function pthread_setcanceltype() may fail with:

     [EINVAL]      The specified state is not PTHREAD_CANCEL_DEFERRED or




     pthread_testcancel() conforms to ISO/IEC 9945-1:1996 ("POSIX.1")

MirBSD #10-current             January 17, 1999                              1

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