Linux libraries and thread-safety!!!

Linux libraries and thread-safety!!!

Post by Billy Bob Jameso » Sun, 08 Apr 2001 12:28:43

Hi all.

My company takes on to porting a very sensitive library to Linux (RedHat
7.0, glibc 2.2.9). The library uses POSIX threads heavily.
On Linux, at this time, LinuxThreads seems to be a very mature package
and looks like being the right choice (and the only good one). However,
we have come upon some documentation (not very up-to-date but
anyways...) on the net saying that glibc is not fully thread-safe
(LinuxThreads package README says that too). Also, the documentation
warns about the non re-entrancy of other libraries in the system and
about possible problems when mixing with libraries like svgalib that
uses SIGUSR signals that LinuxThreads use too.

So: what is your opinion? Stick with LinuxThreads or look after a
user-level threads package? We were thinking that a user-level thread
package would alleviate some of the problems.

What is the latest news in kernel re-entrancy (2.2.x kernels)? Any
links, points, etc.?



1. glibc2: reentrancy, thread-safety, signal-safety

I have heard that glibc2 is close to thread-safe. Does anyone know how
thread thread safety is implemented. Does thread-safety mean signal-safety
that is: I can use --say-- malloc() both in the main process-flow code and
in signal handlers. I suppose it would fairly simply to enforce
thread-safety by using library owned mutexes or critical sections. But this
would preclude signal safety because of potential deadlocks.

By the same token, does anyone know how reentrancy relates to thread-safety
and signal-safety.



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