pthread_cond_timedwait(3p) — Linux manual page



PROLOG         top

       This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.  The Linux
       implementation of this interface may differ (consult the
       corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or
       the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

NAME         top

       pthread_cond_timedwait, pthread_cond_wait — wait on a condition

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <pthread.h>

       int pthread_cond_timedwait(pthread_cond_t *restrict cond,
           pthread_mutex_t *restrict mutex,
           const struct timespec *restrict abstime);
       int pthread_cond_wait(pthread_cond_t *restrict cond,
           pthread_mutex_t *restrict mutex);

DESCRIPTION         top

       The pthread_cond_timedwait() and pthread_cond_wait() functions shall
       block on a condition variable. The application shall ensure that
       these functions are called with mutex locked by the calling thread;
       otherwise, an error (for PTHREAD_MUTEX_ERRORCHECK and robust mutexes)
       or undefined behavior (for other mutexes) results.

       These functions atomically release mutex and cause the calling thread
       to block on the condition variable cond; atomically here means
       ``atomically with respect to access by another thread to the mutex
       and then the condition variable''. That is, if another thread is able
       to acquire the mutex after the about-to-block thread has released it,
       then a subsequent call to pthread_cond_broadcast() or
       pthread_cond_signal() in that thread shall behave as if it were
       issued after the about-to-block thread has blocked.

       Upon successful return, the mutex shall have been locked and shall be
       owned by the calling thread. If mutex is a robust mutex where an
       owner terminated while holding the lock and the state is recoverable,
       the mutex shall be acquired even though the function returns an error

       When using condition variables there is always a Boolean predicate
       involving shared variables associated with each condition wait that
       is true if the thread should proceed. Spurious wakeups from the
       pthread_cond_timedwait() or pthread_cond_wait() functions may occur.
       Since the return from pthread_cond_timedwait() or pthread_cond_wait()
       does not imply anything about the value of this predicate, the
       predicate should be re-evaluated upon such return.

       When a thread waits on a condition variable, having specified a
       particular mutex to either the pthread_cond_timedwait() or the
       pthread_cond_wait() operation, a dynamic binding is formed between
       that mutex and condition variable that remains in effect as long as
       at least one thread is blocked on the condition variable. During this
       time, the effect of an attempt by any thread to wait on that
       condition variable using a different mutex is undefined. Once all
       waiting threads have been unblocked (as by the
       pthread_cond_broadcast() operation), the next wait operation on that
       condition variable shall form a new dynamic binding with the mutex
       specified by that wait operation. Even though the dynamic binding
       between condition variable and mutex may be removed or replaced
       between the time a thread is unblocked from a wait on the condition
       variable and the time that it returns to the caller or begins
       cancellation cleanup, the unblocked thread shall always re-acquire
       the mutex specified in the condition wait operation call from which
       it is returning.

       A condition wait (whether timed or not) is a cancellation point. When
       the cancelability type of a thread is set to PTHREAD_CANCEL_DEFERRED,
       a side-effect of acting upon a cancellation request while in a
       condition wait is that the mutex is (in effect) re-acquired before
       calling the first cancellation cleanup handler. The effect is as if
       the thread were unblocked, allowed to execute up to the point of
       returning from the call to pthread_cond_timedwait() or
       pthread_cond_wait(), but at that point notices the cancellation
       request and instead of returning to the caller of
       pthread_cond_timedwait() or pthread_cond_wait(), starts the thread
       cancellation activities, which includes calling cancellation cleanup

       A thread that has been unblocked because it has been canceled while
       blocked in a call to pthread_cond_timedwait() or pthread_cond_wait()
       shall not consume any condition signal that may be directed
       concurrently at the condition variable if there are other threads
       blocked on the condition variable.

       The pthread_cond_timedwait() function shall be equivalent to
       pthread_cond_wait(), except that an error is returned if the absolute
       time specified by abstime passes (that is, system time equals or
       exceeds abstime) before the condition cond is signaled or
       broadcasted, or if the absolute time specified by abstime has already
       been passed at the time of the call. When such timeouts occur,
       pthread_cond_timedwait() shall nonetheless release and re-acquire the
       mutex referenced by mutex, and may consume a condition signal
       directed concurrently at the condition variable.

       The condition variable shall have a clock attribute which specifies
       the clock that shall be used to measure the time specified by the
       abstime argument. The pthread_cond_timedwait() function is also a
       cancellation point.

       If a signal is delivered to a thread waiting for a condition
       variable, upon return from the signal handler the thread resumes
       waiting for the condition variable as if it was not interrupted, or
       it shall return zero due to spurious wakeup.

       The behavior is undefined if the value specified by the cond or mutex
       argument to these functions does not refer to an initialized
       condition variable or an initialized mutex object, respectively.

RETURN VALUE         top

       Except in the case of [ETIMEDOUT], all these error checks shall act
       as if they were performed immediately at the beginning of processing
       for the function and shall cause an error return, in effect, prior to
       modifying the state of the mutex specified by mutex or the condition
       variable specified by cond.

       Upon successful completion, a value of zero shall be returned;
       otherwise, an error number shall be returned to indicate the error.

ERRORS         top

       These functions shall fail if:

              The state protected by the mutex is not recoverable.

              The mutex is a robust mutex and the process containing the
              previous owning thread terminated while holding the mutex
              lock. The mutex lock shall be acquired by the calling thread
              and it is up to the new owner to make the state consistent.

       EPERM  The mutex type is PTHREAD_MUTEX_ERRORCHECK or the mutex is a
              robust mutex, and the current thread does not own the mutex.

       The pthread_cond_timedwait() function shall fail if:

              The time specified by abstime to pthread_cond_timedwait() has

       EINVAL The abstime argument specified a nanosecond value less than
              zero or greater than or equal to 1000 million.

       These functions may fail if:

              The mutex is a robust mutex and the previous owning thread
              terminated while holding the mutex lock. The mutex lock shall
              be acquired by the calling thread and it is up to the new
              owner to make the state consistent.

       These functions shall not return an error code of [EINTR].

       The following sections are informative.

EXAMPLES         top



       Applications that have assumed that non-zero return values are errors
       will need updating for use with robust mutexes, since a valid return
       for a thread acquiring a mutex which is protecting a currently
       inconsistent state is [EOWNERDEAD].  Applications that do not check
       the error returns, due to ruling out the possibility of such errors
       arising, should not use robust mutexes. If an application is supposed
       to work with normal and robust mutexes, it should check all return
       values for error conditions and if necessary take appropriate action.

RATIONALE         top

       If an implementation detects that the value specified by the cond
       argument to pthread_cond_timedwait() or pthread_cond_wait() does not
       refer to an initialized condition variable, or detects that the value
       specified by the mutex argument to pthread_cond_timedwait() or
       pthread_cond_wait() does not refer to an initialized mutex object, it
       is recommended that the function should fail and report an [EINVAL]

   Condition Wait Semantics
       It is important to note that when pthread_cond_wait() and
       pthread_cond_timedwait() return without error, the associated
       predicate may still be false.  Similarly, when
       pthread_cond_timedwait() returns with the timeout error, the
       associated predicate may be true due to an unavoidable race between
       the expiration of the timeout and the predicate state change.

       The application needs to recheck the predicate on any return because
       it cannot be sure there is another thread waiting on the thread to
       handle the signal, and if there is not then the signal is lost. The
       burden is on the application to check the predicate.

       Some implementations, particularly on a multi-processor, may
       sometimes cause multiple threads to wake up when the condition
       variable is signaled simultaneously on different processors.

       In general, whenever a condition wait returns, the thread has to re-
       evaluate the predicate associated with the condition wait to
       determine whether it can safely proceed, should wait again, or should
       declare a timeout. A return from the wait does not imply that the
       associated predicate is either true or false.

       It is thus recommended that a condition wait be enclosed in the
       equivalent of a ``while loop'' that checks the predicate.

   Timed Wait Semantics
       An absolute time measure was chosen for specifying the timeout
       parameter for two reasons. First, a relative time measure can be
       easily implemented on top of a function that specifies absolute time,
       but there is a race condition associated with specifying an absolute
       timeout on top of a function that specifies relative timeouts. For
       example, assume that clock_gettime() returns the current time and
       cond_relative_timed_wait() uses relative timeouts:

           clock_gettime(CLOCK_REALTIME, &now)
           reltime = sleep_til_this_absolute_time -now;
           cond_relative_timed_wait(c, m, &reltime);

       If the thread is preempted between the first statement and the last
       statement, the thread blocks for too long. Blocking, however, is
       irrelevant if an absolute timeout is used. An absolute timeout also
       need not be recomputed if it is used multiple times in a loop, such
       as that enclosing a condition wait.

       For cases when the system clock is advanced discontinuously by an
       operator, it is expected that implementations process any timed wait
       expiring at an intervening time as if that time had actually

   Cancellation and Condition Wait
       A condition wait, whether timed or not, is a cancellation point. That
       is, the functions pthread_cond_wait() or pthread_cond_timedwait() are
       points where a pending (or concurrent) cancellation request is
       noticed. The reason for this is that an indefinite wait is possible
       at these points—whatever event is being waited for, even if the
       program is totally correct, might never occur; for example, some
       input data being awaited might never be sent. By making condition
       wait a cancellation point, the thread can be canceled and perform its
       cancellation cleanup handler even though it may be stuck in some
       indefinite wait.

       A side-effect of acting on a cancellation request while a thread is
       blocked on a condition variable is to re-acquire the mutex before
       calling any of the cancellation cleanup handlers. This is done in
       order to ensure that the cancellation cleanup handler is executed in
       the same state as the critical code that lies both before and after
       the call to the condition wait function. This rule is also required
       when interfacing to POSIX threads from languages, such as Ada or C++,
       which may choose to map cancellation onto a language exception; this
       rule ensures that each exception handler guarding a critical section
       can always safely depend upon the fact that the associated mutex has
       already been locked regardless of exactly where within the critical
       section the exception was raised. Without this rule, there would not
       be a uniform rule that exception handlers could follow regarding the
       lock, and so coding would become very cumbersome.

       Therefore, since some statement has to be made regarding the state of
       the lock when a cancellation is delivered during a wait, a definition
       has been chosen that makes application coding most convenient and
       error free.

       When acting on a cancellation request while a thread is blocked on a
       condition variable, the implementation is required to ensure that the
       thread does not consume any condition signals directed at that
       condition variable if there are any other threads waiting on that
       condition variable. This rule is specified in order to avoid deadlock
       conditions that could occur if these two independent requests (one
       acting on a thread and the other acting on the condition variable)
       were not processed independently.

   Performance of Mutexes and Condition Variables
       Mutexes are expected to be locked only for a few instructions. This
       practice is almost automatically enforced by the desire of
       programmers to avoid long serial regions of execution (which would
       reduce total effective parallelism).

       When using mutexes and condition variables, one tries to ensure that
       the usual case is to lock the mutex, access shared data, and unlock
       the mutex. Waiting on a condition variable should be a relatively
       rare situation. For example, when implementing a read-write lock,
       code that acquires a read-lock typically needs only to increment the
       count of readers (under mutual-exclusion) and return. The calling
       thread would actually wait on the condition variable only when there
       is already an active writer. So the efficiency of a synchronization
       operation is bounded by the cost of mutex lock/unlock and not by
       condition wait. Note that in the usual case there is no context

       This is not to say that the efficiency of condition waiting is
       unimportant. Since there needs to be at least one context switch per
       Ada rendezvous, the efficiency of waiting on a condition variable is
       important. The cost of waiting on a condition variable should be
       little more than the minimal cost for a context switch plus the time
       to unlock and lock the mutex.

   Features of Mutexes and Condition Variables
       It had been suggested that the mutex acquisition and release be
       decoupled from condition wait. This was rejected because it is the
       combined nature of the operation that, in fact, facilitates realtime
       implementations. Those implementations can atomically move a high-
       priority thread between the condition variable and the mutex in a
       manner that is transparent to the caller. This can prevent extra
       context switches and provide more deterministic acquisition of a
       mutex when the waiting thread is signaled. Thus, fairness and
       priority issues can be dealt with directly by the scheduling
       discipline.  Furthermore, the current condition wait operation
       matches existing practice.

   Scheduling Behavior of Mutexes and Condition Variables
       Synchronization primitives that attempt to interfere with scheduling
       policy by specifying an ordering rule are considered undesirable.
       Threads waiting on mutexes and condition variables are selected to
       proceed in an order dependent upon the scheduling policy rather than
       in some fixed order (for example, FIFO or priority). Thus, the
       scheduling policy determines which thread(s) are awakened and allowed
       to proceed.

   Timed Condition Wait
       The pthread_cond_timedwait() function allows an application to give
       up waiting for a particular condition after a given amount of time.
       An example of its use follows:

           (void) pthread_mutex_lock(&;
               clock_gettime(CLOCK_REALTIME, &ts);
               ts.tv_sec += 5;
               rc = 0;
               while (! mypredicate(&t) && rc == 0)
                   rc = pthread_cond_timedwait(&t.cond, &, &ts);
               if (rc == 0 || mypredicate(&t))
           (void) pthread_mutex_unlock(&;

       By making the timeout parameter absolute, it does not need to be
       recomputed each time the program checks its blocking predicate. If
       the timeout was relative, it would have to be recomputed before each
       call.  This would be especially difficult since such code would need
       to take into account the possibility of extra wakeups that result
       from extra broadcasts or signals on the condition variable that occur
       before either the predicate is true or the timeout is due.



SEE ALSO         top


       The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 4.11, Memory
       Synchronization, pthread.h(0p)

COPYRIGHT         top

       Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
       from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information
       Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open
       Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the
       Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open
       Group.  (This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1
       applied.) In the event of any discrepancy between this version and
       the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and
       The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original
       Standard can be obtained online at .

       Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are
       most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the
       source files to man page format. To report such errors, see .

IEEE/The Open Group                 2013          PTHREAD_COND_TIMEDWAIT(3P)

Pages that refer to this page: pthread.h(0p)clock_nanosleep(3p)pthread_cancel(3p)pthread_condattr_getclock(3p)pthread_cond_broadcast(3p)pthread_cond_destroy(3p)pthread_cond_init(3p)pthread_mutexattr_gettype(3p)