SIGNAL(3) BSD Programmer's Manual SIGNAL(3)
signal - simplified software signal facilities
#include <signal.h> void (*signal(int sigcatch, void (*func)(int sigraised)))(int); void (*bsd_signal(int sigcatch, void (*func)(int sigraised)))(int);
The signal() and bsd_signal() facilities are simplified interfaces to the more general sigaction(2) facility. The bsd_signal() interface is provid- ed for source compatibility only. It is mainly used on systems where the standard signal() does not have BSD semantics. On OpenBSD the two inter- faces are identical. Signals allow the manipulation of a process from outside its domain as well as allowing the process to manipulate itself or copies of itself (children). There are two general types of signals: those that cause ter- mination of a process and those that do not. Signals which cause termina- tion of a program might result from an irrecoverable error or might be the result of a user at a terminal typing the "interrupt" character. Signals are used when a process is stopped because it wishes to access its control terminal while in the background (see tty(4)). Signals are optionally generated when a process resumes after being stopped, when the status of child processes changes, or when input is ready at the control terminal. Most signals result in the termination of the process receiving them if no action is taken; some signals instead cause the process re- ceiving them to be stopped, or are simply discarded if the process has not requested otherwise. Except for the SIGKILL and SIGSTOP signals, the signal() function allows for any signal to be caught, to be ignored, or to generate an interrupt. These signals are defined in the file <signal.h>: Name Default Action Description SIGHUP terminate process terminal line hangup SIGINT terminate process interrupt program SIGQUIT create core image quit program SIGILL create core image illegal instruction SIGTRAP create core image trace trap SIGABRT create core image abort(3) call (formerly SIGIOT) SIGEMT create core image emulate instruction executed SIGFPE create core image floating-point exception SIGKILL terminate process kill program SIGBUS create core image bus error SIGSEGV create core image segmentation violation SIGSYS create core image system call given invalid argument SIGPIPE terminate process write on a pipe with no reader SIGALRM terminate process real-time timer expired SIGTERM terminate process software termination signal SIGURG discard signal urgent condition present on socket SIGSTOP stop process stop (cannot be caught or ignored) SIGTSTP stop process stop signal generated from keyboard SIGCONT discard signal continue after stop SIGCHLD discard signal child status has changed SIGTTIN stop process background read attempted from control terminal SIGTTOU stop process background write attempted to control terminal SIGIO discard signal I/O is possible on a descriptor (see fcntl(2)) SIGXCPU terminate process CPU time limit exceeded (see setrlimit(2)) SIGXFSZ terminate process file size limit exceeded (see setrlimit(2)) SIGVTALRM terminate process virtual time alarm (see setitimer(2)) SIGPROF terminate process profiling timer alarm (see setitimer(2)) SIGWINCH discard signal window size change SIGINFO discard signal status request from keyboard SIGUSR1 terminate process user-defined signal 1 SIGUSR2 terminate process user-defined signal 2 The func argument is a function to be called as the action upon receipt of the signal sigcatch. The function will be called with one argument, sigraised, which is the signal raised (thus the same function, func, can be used by more than one signal). To set the default action of the signal to occur as listed above, func should be SIG_DFL. A SIG_DFL resets the default action. To ignore the signal, func should be SIG_IGN. This will cause subsequent instances of the signal to be ignored and pending in- stances to be discarded. If SIG_IGN is not used, further occurrences of the signal are automatically blocked and func is called. If the func is set to SIG_IGN for the SIGCHLD signal, the system will not create zombie processes when children of the calling process exit. If the calling process subsequently issues a wait(2) (or equivalent), it blocks until all of the calling process's child processes terminate, and then returns a value of -1 with errno set to ECHILD. This differs from histor- ical BSD behavior but is consistent with AT&T System V UNIX as well as the X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4.2 ("XPG4.2"). The handled signal is unblocked when func returns and the process contin- ues from where it left off when the signal occurred. Unlike previous sig- nal facilities, the handler func() remains installed after a signal has been delivered. For some system calls, if a signal is caught while the call is executing and the call is prematurely terminated, the call is automatically res- tarted. (The handler is installed using the SA_RESTART flag with sigaction(2).) The affected system calls include read(2), write(2), sendto(2), recvfrom(2), sendmsg(2), and recvmsg(2) on a communications channel or a low-speed device and during a ioctl(2) or wait(2). However, calls that have already committed are not restarted, but instead return a partial success (for example, a short read count). The siginterrupt(3) function can be used to change the system call restart behavior for a specific signal. When a process which has installed signal handlers forks, the child pro- cess inherits the signals. All caught signals may be reset to their de- fault action by a call to the execve(2) function; ignored signals remain ignored. The following functions are either reentrant or not interruptible by sig- nals and are asyncronous-signal safe. Therefore applications may invoke them, without restriction, from signal-catching functions: Base Interfaces: _exit(), access(), alarm(), cfgetispeed(), cfgetospeed(), cfsetispeed(), cfsetospeed(), chdir(), chmod(), chown(), close(), creat(), dup(), dup2(), execle(), execve(), fcntl(), fork(), fpathconf(), fstat(), fsync(), getegid(), geteuid(), getgid(), getgroups(), getpgrp(), get- pid(), getppid(), getuid(), kill(), link(), lseek(), mkdir(), mkfifo(), open(), pathconf(), pause(), pipe(), raise(), read(), rename(), rmdir(), setgid(), setpgid(), setsid(), setuid(), sigaction(), sigaddset(), sig- delset(), sigemptyset(), sigfillset(), sigismember(), signal(), sigpend- ing(), sigprocmask(), sigsuspend(), sleep(), stat(), sysconf(), tcdrain(), tcflow(), tcflush(), tcgetattr(), tcgetpgrp(), tcsendbreak(), tcsetattr(), tcsetpgrp(), time(), times(), umask(), uname(), unlink(), utime(), wait(), waitpid(), write(). Realtime Interfaces: aio_error(), clock_gettime(), sigpause(), timer_getoverrun(), aio_return(), fdatasync(), sigqueue(), timer_gettime(), aio_suspend(), sem_post(), sigset(), timer_settime(). ANSI C Interfaces: strcpy(), strcat(), strncpy(), strncat(), and perhaps some others. Extension Interfaces: strlcpy(), strlcat(), syslog_r(). Most functions not in the above lists are considered to be unsafe with respect to signals. That is to say, the behaviour of such functions when called from a signal handler is undefined. In general though, signal handlers should do little more than set a flag; most other actions are not safe. Additionally, inside the signal handler it is also considered more safe to make a copy of the global variable errno and restore it before return- ing from the signal handler. A few other functions are signal race safe in OpenBSD but probably not on other systems: snprintf() Safe. vsnprintf() Safe. syslog_r() Safe if the syslog_data struct is initialized as a local variable.
The previous action is returned on a successful call. Otherwise, SIG_ERR is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.
signal() will fail and no action will take place if one of the following occurs: [EINVAL] A specified signal is not a valid signal number. [EINVAL] An attempt is made to ignore or supply a handler for SIGKILL or SIGSTOP.
kill(1), kill(2), ptrace(2), sigaction(2), sigaltstack(2), sigprocmask(2), sigsuspend(2), setjmp(3), siginterrupt(3), tty(4)
This signal() facility appeared in 4.0BSD. MirOS BSD #10-current April 19, 1994 2
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