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From: Linus Torvalds <>
To: "Richard B. Johnson" <>
Cc: Linux kernel <>
Subject: Re: BUG (non-kernel), can hurt developers.
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:29:54 -0800 (PST)	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.4.53.0311261153050.10929@chaos>

On Wed, 26 Nov 2003, Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> Note  to hackers. Even though this is a lib-c bug

It's not.

It's a bug in your program.

You can't just randomly use library functions in signal handlers. You can
only use a very specific "signal-safe" set.

POSIX lists that set in (3f), and says

	"All POSIX.1 functions not in the preceding table and all
	 functions defined in the C standard {2} not stated to be callable
	 from a signal-catching function are considered to be /unsafe/
	 with respect to signals. .."

typos mine.

The thing is, they have internal state that makes then non-reentrant (and
note that even the re-entrant ones might not be signal-safe, since they
may have deadlock issues: being thread-safe is _not_ the same as being

In other words, if you want to do complex things from signals, you should
really just set a flag (of type "sigatomic_t") and have your main loop do
them. Or you have to be very very careful and only use stuff that is
defined to be signal-safe (mainly core system calls - stuff like <stdio.h>
is right out).


  parent reply	other threads:[~2003-11-26 18:30 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 14+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2003-11-26 16:54 Richard B. Johnson
2003-11-26 17:21 ` YOSHIFUJI Hideaki / 吉藤英明
2003-11-26 18:29 ` Linus Torvalds [this message]
2003-11-26 18:55   ` Richard B. Johnson
2003-11-26 19:33     ` Jamie Lokier
2003-11-26 20:17       ` Richard B. Johnson
2003-11-26 20:42         ` Jamie Lokier
2003-11-26 18:59   ` YOSHIFUJI Hideaki / 吉藤英明
2003-11-27 20:41   ` Mikulas Patocka
2003-11-28  7:18   ` Tomas Szepe
2003-11-28 10:29 Andries.Brouwer
2003-11-28 17:22 ` Chris Friesen
2003-11-28 21:21 Andries.Brouwer
2003-11-28 21:38 ` Chris Friesen

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