PTHREAD_SETCANCELSTATE(3) Linux Programmer's Manual PTHREAD_SETCANCELSTATE(3)
pthread_setcancelstate, pthread_setcanceltype - set cancelability state and type
int pthread_setcancelstate(int state, int *oldstate);
int pthread_setcanceltype(int type, int *oldtype);
Compile and link with -pthread.
The pthread_setcancelstate() sets the cancelability state of the calling thread to the value given in state. The previous cancelability
state of the thread is returned in the buffer pointed to by oldstate. The state argument must have one of the following values:
The thread is cancelable. This is the default cancelability state in all new threads, including the initial thread. The thread's
cancelability type determines when a cancelable thread will respond to a cancellation request.
The thread is not cancelable. If a cancellation request is received, it is blocked until cancelability is enabled.
The pthread_setcanceltype() sets the cancelability type of the calling thread to the value given in type. The previous cancelability type
of the thread is returned in the buffer pointed to by oldtype. The type argument must have one of the following values:
A cancellation request is deferred until the thread next calls a function that is a cancellation point (see pthreads(7)). This is
the default cancelability type in all new threads, including the initial thread.
The thread can be canceled at any time. (Typically, it will be canceled immediately upon receiving a cancellation request, but the
system doesn't guarantee this.)
The set-and-get operation performed by each of these functions is atomic with respect to other threads in the process calling the same
On success, these functions return 0; on error, they return a nonzero error number.
The pthread_setcancelstate() can fail with the following error:
EINVAL Invalid value for state.
The pthread_setcanceltype() can fail with the following error:
EINVAL Invalid value for type.
For details of what happens when a thread is canceled, see pthread_cancel(3).
Briefly disabling cancelability is useful if a thread performs some critical action that must not be interrupted by a cancellation request.
Beware of disabling cancelability for long periods, or around operations that may block for long periods, since that will render the thread
unresponsive to cancellation requests.
Setting the cancelability type to PTHREAD_CANCEL_ASYNCHRONOUS is rarely useful. Since the thread could be canceled at any time, it cannot
safely reserve resources (e.g., allocating memory with malloc(3)), acquire mutexes, semaphores, or locks, and so on. Reserving resources
is unsafe because the application has no way of knowing what the state of these resources is when the thread is canceled; that is, did can-
cellation occur before the resources were reserved, while they were reserved, or after they were released? Furthermore, some internal data
structures (e.g., the linked list of free blocks managed by the malloc(3) family of functions) may be left in an inconsistent state if can-
cellation occurs in the middle of the function call. Consequently, clean-up handlers cease to be useful. Functions that can be safely
asynchronously canceled are called async-cancel-safe functions. POSIX.1-2001 requires only that pthread_cancel(3), pthread_setcancel-
state(), and pthread_setcanceltype() be async-cancel-safe. In general, other library functions can't be safely called from an asyn-
chronously cancelable thread. One of the few circumstances in which asynchronous cancelability is useful is for cancellation of a thread
that is in a pure compute-bound loop.
The Linux threading implementations permit the oldstate argument of pthread_setcancelstate() to be NULL, in which case the information
about the previous cancelability state is not returned to the caller. Many other implementations also permit a NULL oldstat argument, but
POSIX.1-2001 does not specify this point, so portable applications should always specify a non-NULL value in oldstate. A precisely analo-
gous set of statements applies for the oldtype argument of pthread_setcanceltype().
pthread_cancel(3), pthread_cleanup_push(3), pthread_testcancel(3), pthreads(7)
This page is part of release 3.53 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
Linux 2008-11-24 PTHREAD_SETCANCELSTATE(3)