PTHREAD_ATTR_GETSTACK(3) BSD Library Functions Manual PTHREAD_ATTR_GETSTACK(3)
pthread_attr_getstack -- get and set thread stack attributes
POSIX Threads Library (libpthread, -lpthread)
pthread_attr_getstack(const pthread_attr_t * restrict attr,
void ** restrict stackaddr, size_t * restrict stacksize);
pthread_attr_setstack(pthread_attr_t * restrict attr, void *stackaddr, size_t stacksize);
pthread_attr_getstacksize(const pthread_attr_t * restrict attr,
size_t * restrict stacksize);
pthread_attr_setstacksize(pthread_attr_t *attr, size_t stacksize);
pthread_attr_getstackaddr(const pthread_attr_t * restrict attr, void ** restrict stackaddr);
pthread_attr_setstackaddr(pthread_attr_t *attr, void *stackaddr);
The pthread_attr_getstack() and pthread_attr_setstack() functions get and set, respectively,
the thread stack attributes stackaddr and stacksize in the attr object. The remaining four
functions behave similarly, but instead of getting or setting both stackaddr and stacksize,
these get and set the values individually.
The stacksize parameter is defined to be the minimum stack size (in bytes) allocated for the
thread's stack during the creation of the thread. The stackaddr attribute specifies the
location of storage to be used for the thread's stack. All pages within the stack described
by stackaddr and stacksize should be both readable and writable by the thread.
The behavior is undefined in all functions if the attr parameter does not refer to an
attribute object initialized by using pthread_attr_init(3) prior to the call. In addition,
undefined behavior may follow if the pthread_attr_getstack() function is called before the
stackaddr attribute has been set.
The rationale behind these functions is to address cases where an application may be used in
an environment where the stack of a thread must be placed to some particular region of mem-
ory. For the majority of applications, this is seldom necessary, and the use of these func-
tions should be generally avoided. At least few potential caveats can be mentioned.
o There is a certain degree of ambiguity in the POSIX standard with respect to thread
o The exact behavior of the functions may vary both across machines and operating sys-
tems. In particular, the address specified by stackaddr should be suitably aligned.
The system page size, as specified by sysconf(3), and the use of posix_memalign(3) may
guarantee some degree of portability. Also mmap(2) provides means for alignment.
o If the application modifies the stack address, it claims also the responsibility of
allocating the stack area and guarding it against possible stack overflow. No default
guard area will be allocated (see pthread_attr_getguardsize(3)). It may be necessary
to manually use mprotect(2) in order to define a guard area at the end of the allo-
o Moreover, if attr is used to create multiple threads, the stack address must be
changed by the application between successive calls to pthread_create(3).
If successful, these functions return 0. Otherwise, an error number is returned to indicate
No errors are defined for the three functions that obtain the stack values. The three func-
tions that set the stack values may fail if:
[ENOMEM] There was insufficient memory to complete the operation.
The pthread_attr_setstacksize() function may additionally fail if:
[EINVAL] The specified stacksize is less than PTHREAD_STACK_MIN or exceeds some
All described functions conform to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1''). Note that
pthread_attr_getstackaddr() and pthread_attr_setstackaddr() were however removed from the
specification in the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (``POSIX.1'') revision.
BSD July 9, 2010 BSD