PTHREAD_MUTEX_LOCK(3P) POSIX Programmer's Manual PTHREAD_MUTEX_LOCK(3P)
This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the correspond-
ing Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.
pthread_mutex_lock, pthread_mutex_trylock, pthread_mutex_unlock - lock and unlock a mutex
int pthread_mutex_lock(pthread_mutex_t *mutex);
int pthread_mutex_trylock(pthread_mutex_t *mutex);
int pthread_mutex_unlock(pthread_mutex_t *mutex);
The mutex object referenced by mutex shall be locked by calling pthread_mutex_lock(). If the mutex is already locked, the calling thread
shall block until the mutex becomes available. This operation shall return with the mutex object referenced by mutex in the locked state
with the calling thread as its owner.
If the mutex type is PTHREAD_MUTEX_NORMAL, deadlock detection shall not be provided. Attempting to relock the mutex causes deadlock. If a
thread attempts to unlock a mutex that it has not locked or a mutex which is unlocked, undefined behavior results.
If the mutex type is PTHREAD_MUTEX_ERRORCHECK, then error checking shall be provided. If a thread attempts to relock a mutex that it has
already locked, an error shall be returned. If a thread attempts to unlock a mutex that it has not locked or a mutex which is unlocked, an
error shall be returned.
If the mutex type is PTHREAD_MUTEX_RECURSIVE, then the mutex shall maintain the concept of a lock count. When a thread successfully
acquires a mutex for the first time, the lock count shall be set to one. Every time a thread relocks this mutex, the lock count shall be
incremented by one. Each time the thread unlocks the mutex, the lock count shall be decremented by one. When the lock count reaches zero,
the mutex shall become available for other threads to acquire. If a thread attempts to unlock a mutex that it has not locked or a mutex
which is unlocked, an error shall be returned.
If the mutex type is PTHREAD_MUTEX_DEFAULT, attempting to recursively lock the mutex results in undefined behavior. Attempting to unlock
the mutex if it was not locked by the calling thread results in undefined behavior. Attempting to unlock the mutex if it is not locked
results in undefined behavior.
The pthread_mutex_trylock() function shall be equivalent to pthread_mutex_lock(), except that if the mutex object referenced by mutex is
currently locked (by any thread, including the current thread), the call shall return immediately. If the mutex type is
PTHREAD_MUTEX_RECURSIVE and the mutex is currently owned by the calling thread, the mutex lock count shall be incremented by one and the
pthread_mutex_trylock() function shall immediately return success.
The pthread_mutex_unlock() function shall release the mutex object referenced by mutex. The manner in which a mutex is released is depen-
dent upon the mutex's type attribute. If there are threads blocked on the mutex object referenced by mutex when pthread_mutex_unlock() is
called, resulting in the mutex becoming available, the scheduling policy shall determine which thread shall acquire the mutex.
(In the case of PTHREAD_MUTEX_RECURSIVE mutexes, the mutex shall become available when the count reaches zero and the calling thread no
longer has any locks on this mutex.)
If a signal is delivered to a thread waiting for a mutex, upon return from the signal handler the thread shall resume waiting for the mutex
as if it was not interrupted.
If successful, the pthread_mutex_lock() and pthread_mutex_unlock() functions shall return zero; otherwise, an error number shall be
returned to indicate the error.
The pthread_mutex_trylock() function shall return zero if a lock on the mutex object referenced by mutex is acquired. Otherwise, an error
number is returned to indicate the error.
The pthread_mutex_lock() and pthread_mutex_trylock() functions shall fail if:
EINVAL The mutex was created with the protocol attribute having the value PTHREAD_PRIO_PROTECT and the calling thread's priority is higher
than the mutex's current priority ceiling.
The pthread_mutex_trylock() function shall fail if:
EBUSY The mutex could not be acquired because it was already locked.
The pthread_mutex_lock(), pthread_mutex_trylock(), and pthread_mutex_unlock() functions may fail if:
EINVAL The value specified by mutex does not refer to an initialized mutex object.
EAGAIN The mutex could not be acquired because the maximum number of recursive locks for mutex has been exceeded.
The pthread_mutex_lock() function may fail if:
The current thread already owns the mutex.
The pthread_mutex_unlock() function may fail if:
EPERM The current thread does not own the mutex.
These functions shall not return an error code of [EINTR].
The following sections are informative.
Mutex objects are intended to serve as a low-level primitive from which other thread synchronization functions can be built. As such, the
implementation of mutexes should be as efficient as possible, and this has ramifications on the features available at the interface.
The mutex functions and the particular default settings of the mutex attributes have been motivated by the desire to not preclude fast,
inlined implementations of mutex locking and unlocking.
For example, deadlocking on a double-lock is explicitly allowed behavior in order to avoid requiring more overhead in the basic mechanism
than is absolutely necessary. (More "friendly" mutexes that detect deadlock or that allow multiple locking by the same thread are easily
constructed by the user via the other mechanisms provided. For example, pthread_self() can be used to record mutex ownership.) Implementa-
tions might also choose to provide such extended features as options via special mutex attributes.
Since most attributes only need to be checked when a thread is going to be blocked, the use of attributes does not slow the (common) mutex-
Likewise, while being able to extract the thread ID of the owner of a mutex might be desirable, it would require storing the current thread
ID when each mutex is locked, and this could incur unacceptable levels of overhead. Similar arguments apply to a mutex_tryunlock operation.
pthread_mutex_destroy(), pthread_mutex_timedlock(), the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, <pthread.h>
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technol-
ogy -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. 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 http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .
/The Open Group 2003 PTHREAD_MUTEX_LOCK(3P)