sigreturn(2) — Linux manual page


sigreturn(2)               System Calls Manual              sigreturn(2)

NAME         top

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

LIBRARY         top

       Standard C library (libc, -lc)

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 sigreturn().

       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.

VERSIONS         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.

STANDARDS         top


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 stack.)

       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

SEE ALSO         top

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

COLOPHON         top

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Linux man-pages 6.9.1          2024-05-02                   sigreturn(2)

Pages that refer to this page: PR_SET_SYSCALL_USER_DISPATCH(2const)restart_syscall(2)seccomp(2)sigaction(2)syscalls(2)signal(7)