PTHREAD_KEY_CREATE(3) BSD Library Functions Manual PTHREAD_KEY_CREATE(3)
pthread_key_create -- thread-specific data
POSIX Threads Library (libpthread, -lpthread)
pthread_key_create(pthread_key_t *key, void (*destructor)(void *));
The pthread_key_create() function creates a thread-specific data key visible to all threads
in the process. Key values are opaque objects used to locate thread-specific data. The
same key value may be used by different threads, but the values bound to the key by
pthread_setspecific() are maintained on a per-thread basis and persist for the life of the
Upon key creation, the value NULL is associated with the new key in all active threads.
Upon thread creation, the value NULL is associated with all defined keys in the new thread.
An optional destructor function may be associated with each key value. At thread exit, if a
key value has a non-NULL destructor pointer, and the thread has a non-NULL value associated
with the key, the function pointed to is called with the current associated value as its
sole argument. The order of destructor calls is unspecified if more than one destructor
exists for a thread when it exits.
If, after all the destructors have been called for all non-NULL values with associated
destructors, there are still some non-NULL values with associated destructors, then the
process is repeated. If, after at least PTHREAD_DESTRUCTOR_ITERATIONS iterations of
destructor calls for outstanding non-NULL values, there are still some non-NULL values with
associated destructors, the implementation stops calling destructors.
The pthread_key_delete() function deletes a thread-specific data key previously returned by
pthread_key_create(). The thread-specific data values associated with key need not be NULL
at the time of the call. It is the responsibility of the application to free any applica-
tion storage or perform any cleanup actions for data structures related to the deleted key
or associated thread-specific data in any threads; this cleanup can be done either before or
after pthread_key_delete() is called. Any attempt to use key following the call to
pthread_key_delete() results in undefined behavior.
The pthread_key_delete() function itself is callable from within destructor functions, but
destructor functions are not invoked by the function. Any destructor function that may have
been associated with key will no longer be called upon thread exit.
If successful, the pthread_key_create() function will store the newly created key value at
the location specified by key and returns zero. Also pthread_key_delete() will return zero
upon success. Upon failure both functions return an error number to indicate the cause.
The pthread_key_create() may fail if:
[EAGAIN] The system lacked the necessary resources to create another thread-spe-
cific data key, or the system-imposed limit on the total number of keys
per process PTHREAD_KEYS_MAX would be exceeded.
[ENOMEM] Insufficient memory exists to create the key.
The pthread_key_delete() function may fail if:
[EINVAL] The key value is invalid.
These functions conform to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'').
The current specifications are flawed and do not permit a clean implementation without
potential problems. The current implementation in NetBSD addresses these problems by not
supporting key reuse.
BSD July 9, 2010 BSD