rt_sigreturn(2) — Linux manual page


SIGRETURN(2)              Linux Programmer's Manual             SIGRETURN(2)

NAME         top

       sigreturn,  rt_sigreturn  -  return  from  signal handler and cleanup
       stack frame

SYNOPSIS         top

       int sigreturn(...);

DESCRIPTION         top

       If the Linux kernel determines that an unblocked signal is pending
       for a process, then, at the next transition back to user mode in that
       process (e.g., upon return from a system call or when the process is
       rescheduled onto the CPU), it creates a new frame on the user-space
       stack where it saves various pieces of process context (processor
       status word, registers, signal mask, and signal stack settings).

       The kernel also arranges that, during the transition back to user
       mode, the signal handler is called, and that, upon return from the
       handler, control passes to a piece of user-space code commonly called
       the "signal trampoline".  The signal trampoline code in turn calls

       This sigreturn() call undoes everything that was done—changing the
       process's signal mask, switching signal stacks (see
       sigaltstack(2))—in order to invoke the signal handler.  Using the
       information that was earlier saved on the user-space stack
       sigreturn() restores the process's signal mask, switches stacks, and
       restores the process's context (processor flags and registers,
       including the stack pointer and instruction pointer), so that the
       process resumes execution at the point where it was interrupted by
       the signal.

RETURN VALUE         top

       sigreturn() never returns.

CONFORMING TO         top

       Many UNIX-type systems have a sigreturn() system call or near
       equivalent.  However, this call is not specified in POSIX, and
       details of its behavior vary across systems.

NOTES         top

       sigreturn() exists only to allow the implementation of signal
       handlers.  It should never be called directly.  (Indeed, a simple
       sigreturn() wrapper in the GNU C library simply returns -1, with
       errno set to ENOSYS.)  Details of the arguments (if any) passed to
       sigreturn() vary depending on the architecture.  (On some
       architectures, such as x86-64, sigreturn() takes no arguments, since
       all of the information that it requires is available in the stack
       frame that was previously created by the kernel on the user-space

       Once upon a time, UNIX systems placed the signal trampoline code onto
       the user stack.  Nowadays, pages of the user stack are protected so
       as to disallow code execution.  Thus, on contemporary Linux systems,
       depending on the architecture, the signal trampoline code lives
       either in the vdso(7) or in the C library.  In the latter case, the C
       library's sigaction(2) wrapper function informs the kernel of the
       location of the trampoline code by placing its address in the
       sa_restorer field of the sigaction structure, and sets the
       SA_RESTORER flag in the sa_flags field.

       The saved process context information is placed in a ucontext_t
       structure (see <sys/ucontext.h>).  That structure is visible within
       the signal handler as the third argument of a handler established via
       sigaction(2) with the SA_SIGINFO flag.

       On some other UNIX systems, the operation of the signal trampoline
       differs a little.  In particular, on some systems, upon transitioning
       back to user mode, the kernel passes control to the trampoline
       (rather than the signal handler), and the trampoline code calls the
       signal handler (and then calls sigreturn() once the handler returns).

   C library/kernel differences
       The original Linux system call was named sigreturn().  However, with
       the addition of real-time signals in Linux 2.2, a new system call,
       rt_sigreturn() was added to support an enlarged sigset_t type.  The
       GNU C library hides these details from us, transparently employing
       rt_sigreturn() when the kernel provides it.

SEE ALSO         top

       kill(2), restart_syscall(2), sigaltstack(2), signal(2),
       getcontext(3), signal(7), vdso(7)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of release 5.09 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                            2017-09-15                     SIGRETURN(2)

Pages that refer to this page: syscalls(2)signal(7)