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Linux 2.6 - man page for semget (linux section 2)

SEMGET(2)			    Linux Programmer's Manual				SEMGET(2)

       semget - get a System V semaphore set identifier

       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <sys/ipc.h>
       #include <sys/sem.h>

       int semget(key_t key, int nsems, int semflg);

       The semget() system call returns the System V semaphore set identifier associated with the
       argument key.  A new set of nsems semaphores is created if key has the  value  IPC_PRIVATE
       or  if no existing semaphore set is associated with key and IPC_CREAT is specified in sem-

       If semflg specifies both IPC_CREAT and IPC_EXCL and a semaphore	set  already  exists  for
       key,  then  semget()  fails with errno set to EEXIST.  (This is analogous to the effect of
       the combination O_CREAT | O_EXCL for open(2).)

       Upon creation, the least significant 9 bits of the argument semflg define the  permissions
       (for owner, group and others) for the semaphore set.  These bits have the same format, and
       the same meaning, as the mode argument of open(2) (though the execute permissions are  not
       meaningful  for	semaphores, and write permissions mean permission to alter semaphore val-

       The values of the semaphores in a newly created set are indeterminate.	(POSIX.1-2001  is
       explicit on this point.)  Although Linux, like many other implementations, initializes the
       semaphore values to 0, a portable application cannot rely on this:  it  should  explicitly
       initialize the semaphores to the desired values.

       When  creating  a new semaphore set, semget() initializes the set's associated data struc-
       ture, semid_ds (see semctl(2)), as follows:

	      sem_perm.cuid and sem_perm.uid are set to the effective  user  ID  of  the  calling

	      sem_perm.cgid  and  sem_perm.gid	are  set to the effective group ID of the calling

	      The least significant 9 bits of sem_perm.mode are set to the  least  significant	9
	      bits of semflg.

	      sem_nsems is set to the value of nsems.

	      sem_otime is set to 0.

	      sem_ctime is set to the current time.

       The  argument  nsems  can  be  0 (a don't care) when a semaphore set is not being created.
       Otherwise nsems must be greater than 0 and less than or equal to  the  maximum  number  of
       semaphores per semaphore set (SEMMSL).

       If the semaphore set already exists, the permissions are verified.

       If  successful, the return value will be the semaphore set identifier (a nonnegative inte-
       ger), otherwise -1 is returned, with errno indicating the error.

       On failure errno will be set to one of the following:

       EACCES A semaphore set exists for key, but the calling process does not have permission to
	      access the set, and does not have the CAP_IPC_OWNER capability.

       EEXIST A semaphore set exists for key and semflg specified both IPC_CREAT and IPC_EXCL.

       EINVAL nsems is less than 0 or greater than the limit on the number of semaphores per sem-
	      aphore set (SEMMSL), or a semaphore set corresponding to key  already  exists,  and
	      nsems is larger than the number of semaphores in that set.

       ENOENT No semaphore set exists for key and semflg did not specify IPC_CREAT.

       ENOMEM A  semaphore  set  has to be created but the system does not have enough memory for
	      the new data structure.

       ENOSPC A semaphore set has to be created but the system limit for the  maximum  number  of
	      semaphore  sets (SEMMNI), or the system wide maximum number of semaphores (SEMMNS),
	      would be exceeded.

       SVr4, POSIX.1-2001.

       The inclusion of <sys/types.h> and <sys/ipc.h> isn't required on Linux or by  any  version
       of POSIX.  However, some old implementations required the inclusion of these header files,
       and the SVID also documented their inclusion.  Applications intended  to  be  portable  to
       such old systems may need to include these header files.

       IPC_PRIVATE  isn't  a flag field but a key_t type.  If this special value is used for key,
       the system call ignores everything but the least significant 9 bits of semflg and  creates
       a new semaphore set (on success).

       The following limits on semaphore set resources affect the semget() call:

       SEMMNI System  wide  maximum  number  of  semaphore sets: policy dependent (on Linux, this
	      limit can be read and modified via the fourth field of /proc/sys/kernel/sem).

       SEMMSL Maximum number of semaphores per semid: implementation dependent	(on  Linux,  this
	      limit can be read and modified via the first field of /proc/sys/kernel/sem).

       SEMMNS System  wide  maximum  number of semaphores: policy dependent (on Linux, this limit
	      can be read and modified via the second  field  of  /proc/sys/kernel/sem).   Values
	      greater than SEMMSL * SEMMNI makes it irrelevant.

       The  name  choice IPC_PRIVATE was perhaps unfortunate, IPC_NEW would more clearly show its

       The semaphores in a set are not initialized by semget().  In order to initialize the sema-
       phores,	semctl(2) must be used to perform a SETVAL or a SETALL operation on the semaphore
       set.  (Where multiple peers do not know who will be  the  first	to  initialize	the  set,
       checking for a nonzero sem_otime in the associated data structure retrieved by a semctl(2)
       IPC_STAT operation can be used to avoid races.)

       semctl(2), semop(2), ftok(3), capabilities(7), sem_overview(7), svipc(7)

       This page is part of release 3.55 of the Linux man-pages project.  A  description  of  the
       project,     and    information	  about    reporting	bugs,	 can	be    found    at

Linux					    2012-05-31					SEMGET(2)

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