PTHREAD_ATTR_SETGUARDSIZE(3) Linux Programmer's Manual PTHREAD_ATTR_SETGUARDSIZE(3)
pthread_attr_setguardsize, pthread_attr_getguardsize - set/get guard size attribute in thread attributes object
int pthread_attr_setguardsize(pthread_attr_t *attr, size_t guardsize);
int pthread_attr_getguardsize(pthread_attr_t *attr, size_t *guardsize);
Compile and link with -pthread.
The pthread_attr_setguardsize() function sets the guard size attribute of the thread attributes object referred to by attr to the value
specified in guardsize.
If guardsize is greater than 0, then for each new thread created using attr the system allocates an additional region of at least guardsize
bytes at the end of the thread's stack to act as the guard area for the stack (but see BUGS).
If guardsize is 0, then new threads created with attr will not have a guard area.
The default guard size is the same as the system page size.
If the stack address attribute has been set in attr (using pthread_attr_setstack(3) or pthread_attr_setstackaddr(3)), meaning that the
caller is allocating the thread's stack, then the guard size attribute is ignored (i.e., no guard area is created by the system): it is the
application's responsibility to handle stack overflow (perhaps by using mprotect(2) to manually define a guard area at the end of the stack
that it has allocated).
The pthread_attr_getguardsize() function returns the guard size attribute of the thread attributes object referred to by attr in the buffer
pointed to by guardsize.
On success, these functions return 0; on error, they return a nonzero error number.
POSIX.1-2001 documents an EINVAL error if attr or guardsize is invalid. On Linux these functions always succeed (but portable and future-
proof applications should nevertheless handle a possible error return).
These functions are provided by glibc since version 2.1.
A guard area consists of virtual memory pages that are protected to prevent read and write access. If a thread overflows its stack into
the guard area, then, on most hard architectures, it receives a SIGSEGV signal, thus notifying it of the overflow. Guard areas start on
page boundaries, and the guard size is internally rounded up to the system page size when creating a thread. (Nevertheless,
pthread_attr_getguardsize() returns the guard size that was set by pthread_attr_setguardsize().)
Setting a guard size of 0 may be useful to save memory in an application that creates many threads and knows that stack overflow can never
Choosing a guard size larger than the default size may be necessary for detecting stack overflows if a thread allocates large data struc-
tures on the stack.
As at glibc 2.8, the NPTL threading implementation includes the guard area within the stack size allocation, rather than allocating extra
space at the end of the stack, as POSIX.1 requires. (This can result in an EINVAL error from pthread_create(3) if the guard size value is
too large, leaving no space for the actual stack.)
The obsolete LinuxThreads implementation did the right thing, allocating extra space at the end of the stack for the guard area.
mmap(2), mprotect(2), pthread_attr_init(3), pthread_attr_setstack(3), pthread_attr_setstacksize(3), pthread_create(3), pthreads(7)
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be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
Linux 2008-10-24 PTHREAD_ATTR_SETGUARDSIZE(3)