large libthr patch

Mike Makonnen mtm at
Thu May 6 06:04:53 PDT 2004

Hello folks,

I have a largish libthr patch ready for committing. You can get it at
I would appreciate reviews and tests (it passes all conformance/regression
tests that the previous version passed-- and a few it failed).

Draft commit-log:

Make libthr async-signal-safe without costly signal masking. The guidlines I
followed are: Only 3 functions (pthread_cancel, pthread_setcancelstate,
pthread_setcanceltype) are required to be async-signal-safe. None, of the
rest of the pthread api is required to be async-signal-safe. This means
that none of the other pthread_* functions are safe to use from inside
a signal handler. However, there are certain system/libc calls that are
cancellation points that a caller may call from within a signal handler,
and since they are cancellation points calls have to be made into libthr
to test for cancellation and exit the thread if necessary. So, the
cancellation test and thread exit code paths must be async-signal-safe
as well. To achieve this I have had to alter the pthread structure. A
summary of the changes follows:

o Almost all of the code paths that masked signals, as well as locking the
  pthread structure now lock only the pthread structure.
o Signals are masked (and left that way) as soon as a thread enters 
o The active and dead threads locks now explicitly require that signals
  are masked.
o Access to the isdead field of the pthread structure is protected by both
  the active and dead list locks for writing. Either one is sufficient for
o The thread state and type fields have been combined into one three-state
  switch to make it easier to read without requiring a lock. It doesn't need
  a lock for writing (and therefore for reading either) because only the
  current thread can write to it and it is an integer value.
o The thread state field of the pthread structure has been eliminated. It
  was an unnecessary field that mostly duplicated the flags field, but
  required additional locking that would make a lot more code paths require
  signal masking. Any truly unique values (such as PS_DEAD) have been
  reborn as separate members of the pthread structure.
o Since the mutex and condvar pthread functions are not async-signal-safe
  there is no need to muck about with the wait queues when handling
  a signal ...
o ... which also removes the need for wrapping signal handlers and sigaction(2).
o The condvar and mutex async-cancellation code had to be revised as a result
  of some of these changes, which resulted in semi-unrelated changes which
  would have been difficult to work on as a separate commit, so they are
  included as well.

The only part of the changes I am worried about is related to locking for
'pthread joining' related operations. But, I will take a closer look at them once this
mega-patch is committed.

Mike Makonnen  | GPG-KEY:
mtm at | Fingerprint: AC7B 5672 2D11 F4D0 EBF8  5279 5359 2B82 7CD4 1F55
mtm at FreeBSD.Org| FreeBSD - Unleash the Daemon !

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