glenda.party
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THREAD(2)                     System Calls Manual                    THREAD(2)



NAME
       alt, chanclose, chancreate, chanfree, chaninit, chanclosing, chanprint,
       mainstacksize, proccreate, procdata,  procexec,  procexecl,  procrfork,
       recv,  recvp,  recvul,  send, sendp, sendul, nbrecv, nbrecvp, nbrecvul,
       nbsend,  nbsendp,  nbsendul,  threadcreate,  threaddata,   threadexits,
       threadexitsall,  threadgetgrp,  threadgetname, threadint, threadintgrp,
       threadkill, threadkillgrp, threadmain, threadnotify, threadid,  thread‐
       pid,  threadsetgrp,  threadsetname,  threadwaitchan, yield - thread and
       proc management

SYNOPSIS
       #include <u.h>
       #include <libc.h>
       #include <thread.h>

       typedef enum {
           CHANEND,
           CHANSND,
           CHANRCV,
           CHANNOP,
           CHANNOBLK,
       } ChanOp;

       typedef struct Alt Alt;
       struct Alt {
           Channel *c;   /* channel */
           void    *v;   /* pointer to value */
           ChanOp  op;   /* operation */
           char    *err; /* did the op fail? */
           /*
            * the next variables are used internally to alt
            * they need not be initialized
            */
           Channel **tag;   /* pointer to rendez-vous tag */
           int     entryno; /* entry number */
       };

       void     threadmain(int argc, char *argv[])
       int      mainstacksize
       int      proccreate(void (*fn)(void*), void *arg, uint stacksize)
       int      procrfork(void (*fn)(void*), void *arg, uint stacksize,
                    int rforkflag)
       int      threadcreate(void (*fn)(void*), void *arg, uint stacksize)
       void     threadexits(char *status)
       void     threadexitsall(char *status)
       void     yield(void)
       int      threadid(void)
       int      threadgrp(void)
       int      threadsetgrp(int group)
       int      threadpid(int id)
       int      threadint(int id)
       void     threadintgrp(int group)
       void     threadkill(int id)
       int      threadkillgrp(int group)
       void     threadsetname(char *name, ...)
       char*    threadgetname(void)
       void**   threaddata(void)
       void**   procdata(void)
       int      chaninit(Channel *c, int elsize, int nel)
       Channel* chancreate(int elsize, int nel)
       void     chanfree(Channel *c)
       int      alt(Alt *alts)
       int      recv(Channel *c, void *v)
       void*    recvp(Channel *c)
       ulong    recvul(Channel *c)
       int      nbrecv(Channel *c, void *v)
       void*    nbrecvp(Channel *c)
       ulong    nbrecvul(Channel *c)
       int      send(Channel *c, void *v)
       int      sendp(Channel *c, void *v)
       int      sendul(Channel *c, ulong v)
       int      nbsend(Channel *c, void *v)
       int      nbsendp(Channel *c, void *v)
       int      nbsendul(Channel *c, ulong v)
       int      chanprint(Channel *c, char *fmt, ...)
       int      chanclose(Channel *c);
       int      chanclosing(Channel *c);
       void     procexecl(Channel *cpid, char *file, ...)
       void     procexec(Channel *cpid, char *file, char *args[])
       Channel* threadwaitchan(void)
       int      threadnotify(int (*f)(void*, char*), int in)

DESCRIPTION
       The thread library provides parallel  programming  support  similar  to
       that  of  the languages Alef and Newsqueak.  Threads and procs occupy a
       shared address space, communicating and synchronizing through  channels
       and shared variables.

       A  proc  is  a  Plan 9 process that contains one or more cooperatively-
       scheduled threads.  Programs using threads must replace main by thread‐
       main.   The thread library provides a main function that sets up a proc
       with a single thread executing threadmain on a stack of size mainstack‐
       size (default eight kilobytes).  To set mainstacksize, declare a global
       variable initialized to the desired value (e.g.,  int  mainstacksize  =
       1024).

   Creation
       Threadcreate  creates  a  new  thread  in the calling proc, returning a
       unique integer identifying the thread; the thread executes fn(arg) on a
       stack of size stacksize.  Thread stacks are allocated in shared memory,
       making it valid to pass pointers to stack variables between threads and
       procs.   Procrfork  creates  a new proc, and inside that proc creates a
       single thread as threadcreate would, returning the id  of  the  created
       thread.   Procrfork creates the new proc by calling rfork (see fork(2))
       with  flags  RFPROC|RFMEM|RFNOWAIT|rforkflag.   (The   thread   library
       depends  on all its procs running in the same rendezvous group.  Do not
       include RFREND in rforkflag.)  Proccreate  is  identical  to  procrfork
       with  rforkflag set to zero.  Be aware that the calling thread may con‐
       tinue execution before the newly created proc and thread are scheduled.
       Because  of  this, arg should not point to data on the stack of a func‐
       tion that could return before the new process is scheduled.

       Threadexits terminates the calling thread.  If the thread is  the  last
       in  its proc, threadexits also terminates the proc, using status as the
       exit status.  Threadexitsall terminates all procs in the program, using
       status as the exit status.

   Scheduling
       The  threads  in a proc are coroutines, scheduled non-preemptively in a
       round-robin fashion.  A thread must explicitly  relinquish  control  of
       the  processor  before  another  thread in the same proc is run.  Calls
       that do this are yield, proccreate, procexec,  procexecl,  threadexits,
       alt,  send,  and recv (and the calls related to send and recv—see their
       descriptions further on), plus these from lock(2): qlock, rlock, wlock,
       rsleep.   Procs  are  scheduled  by  the  operating system.  Therefore,
       threads in different procs can preempt one another  in  arbitrary  ways
       and  should  synchronize  their  actions  using qlocks (see lock(2)) or
       channel communication.  System calls such as read(2) block  the  entire
       proc; all threads in a proc block until the system call finishes.

       As mentioned above, each thread has a unique integer thread id.  Thread
       ids are not reused; they are unique across the  life  of  the  program.
       Threadid returns the id for the current thread.  Each thread also has a
       thread group id.  The initial thread has a group id of zero.  Each  new
       thread  inherits the group id of the thread that created it.  Threadgrp
       returns the group id for the  current  thread;  threadsetgrp  sets  it.
       Threadpid  returns  the pid of the Plan 9 process containing the thread
       identified by id, or -1 if no such thread is found.

       Threadint interrupts a thread that is blocked in a channel operation or
       system  call.  Threadintgrp interrupts all threads with the given group
       id.  Threadkill marks a thread to die when  it  next  relinquishes  the
       processor  (via  one  of  the  calls  listed  above).  If the thread is
       blocked in a channel operation or system call, it is also  interrupted.
       Threadkillgrp  kills  all  threads  with the given group id.  Note that
       threadkill and threadkillgrp will not terminate  a  thread  that  never
       relinquishes the processor.

   Names and per-thread data
       Primarily  for debugging, threads can have string names associated with
       them.  Threadgetname returns the current thread's  name;  threadsetname
       sets it.  The pointer returned by threadgetname is only valid until the
       next call to threadsetname.

       Threaddata returns a pointer to a per-thread pointer that may be  modi‐
       fied  by threaded programs for per-thread storage.  Similarly, procdata
       returns a pointer to a per-proc pointer.

   Executing new programs
       Procexecl and procexec are threaded analogues of exec  and  execl  (see
       exec(2));  on  success,  they replace the calling thread (which must be
       the only thread in its proc) and invoke  the  external  program,  never
       returning.   On error, they return -1.  If cpid is not null, the pid of
       the invoked program will be sent along cpid once the program  has  been
       started, or -1 will be sent if an error occurs.  Procexec and procexecl
       will not access their arguments after  sending  a  result  along  cpid.
       Thus,  programs that malloc the argv passed to procexec can safely free
       it once they have received the cpid  response.   Note  that  the  mount
       point /mnt/temp must exist; procexec(l) mount pipes there.

       Threadwaitchan returns a channel of pointers to Waitmsg structures (see
       wait(2)).  When an exec'ed process exits, a pointer  to  a  Waitmsg  is
       sent  to  this  channel.   These Waitmsg structures have been allocated
       with malloc(2) and should be freed after use.

   Channels
       A Channel is a buffered or unbuffered queue  for  fixed-size  messages.
       Procs and threads send messages into the channel and recv messages from
       the channel.  If the channel is unbuffered,  a  send  operation  blocks
       until the corresponding recv operation occurs and vice versa.  Chaninit
       initializes a Channel for messages of size elsize  and  with  a  buffer
       holding  nel  messages.   If  nel  is  zero, the channel is unbuffered.
       Chancreate allocates a new channel and initializes it.  Chanfree  frees
       a  channel  that  is  no longer used.  Chanfree can be called by either
       sender or receiver after the last  item  has  been  sent  or  received.
       Freeing  the channel will be delayed if there is a thread blocked on it
       until that thread unblocks (but chanfree returns immediately).

       Send sends the element pointed at by v to the channel c.  If v is null,
       zeros  are  sent.   Recv receives an element from c and stores it in v.
       If v is null, the received value is discarded.  Send and recv return  1
       on success, -1 if interrupted.  Nbsend and nbrecv behave similarly, but
       return 0 rather than blocking.

       Sendp, nbsendp, sendul, and nbsendul send  a  pointer  or  an  unsigned
       long;  the  channel  must  have  been  initialized with the appropriate
       elsize.  Recvp, nbrecvp, recvul, and nbrecvul receive a pointer  or  an
       unsigned  long;  they  return zero when a zero is received, when inter‐
       rupted, or (for nbrecvp and nbrecvul) when  the  operation  would  have
       blocked.  To distinguish between these three cases, use recv or nbrecv.

       Alt can be used to recv from or send to one of a number of channels, as
       directed by an array of Alt  structures,  each  of  which  describes  a
       potential  send  or  receive  operation.  In an Alt structure, c is the
       channel; v the value pointer (which may be null); and op the operation:
       CHANSND for a send operation, CHANRCV for a recv operation; CHANNOP for
       no operation (useful when alt is called with a varying  set  of  opera‐
       tions).   The array of Alt structures is terminated by an entry with op
       CHANEND or CHANNOBLK.  If at least one Alt structure can  proceed,  one
       of  them  is chosen at random to be executed.  Alt returns the index of
       the chosen structure.  If no operations can proceed  and  the  list  is
       terminated  with  CHANNOBLK,  alt  returns the index of the terminating
       CHANNOBLK structure.  Otherwise, alt blocks until one of the operations
       can  proceed, eventually returning the index of the structure executes.
       Alt returns -1 when interrupted.  The tag and entryno fields in the Alt
       structure are used internally by alt and need not be initialized.  They
       are not used between alt calls.

       Chanprint formats its arguments in the manner of print(2) and sends the
       result  to  the  channel c.  The string delivered by chanprint is allo‐
       cated with malloc(2) and should be freed upon receipt.

       Chanclose prevents further elements being sent to the channel c.  After
       closing  a channel, send and recv never block.  Send always returns -1.
       Recv returns -1 if the channel is empty.  Alt may choose a  CHANSND  or
       CHANRCV  that failed because the channel was closed.  In this case, the
       err field of the Alt entry points to an error string stating  that  the
       channel  was  closed  and the operation was completed with failure.  If
       all entries have been selected and failed because they were closed, alt
       returns -1.

   Errors, notes and resources
       Thread library functions do not return on failure; if errors occur, the
       entire program is aborted.

       Chanclosing returns -1 if no one called closed on the channel, and oth‐
       erwise the number of elements still in the channel.

       Threaded  programs  should  use  threadnotify in place of atnotify (see
       notify(2)).

       It is safe to use sysfatal (see perror(2)) in threaded programs.   Sys‐
       fatal will print the error string and call threadexitsall.

       It  is  safe  to  use rfork (see fork(2)) to manage the namespace, file
       descriptors, note group, and environment of a single process.  That is,
       it  is  safe  to  call  rfork  with  the  flags RFNAMEG, RFFDG, RFCFDG,
       RFNOTEG, RFENVG, and RFCENVG.  (To create new processes, use proccreate
       and  procrfork.)  As mentioned above, the thread library depends on all
       procs being in the same rendezvous group; do not change the  rendezvous
       group with rfork.

FILES
       /sys/lib/acid/thread
              useful acid(1) functions for debugging threaded programs.

       /sys/src/libthread/example.c
              a full example program.

       /mnt/temp
              a place for procexec to create pipes.

SOURCE
       /sys/src/libthread

SEE ALSO
       intro(2), ioproc(2), lock(2)



                                                                     THREAD(2)