getcontext(3) — Linux manual page


getcontext(3)           Library Functions Manual           getcontext(3)

NAME         top

       getcontext, setcontext - get or set the user context

LIBRARY         top

       Standard C library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <ucontext.h>

       int getcontext(ucontext_t *ucp);
       int setcontext(const ucontext_t *ucp);

DESCRIPTION         top

       In a System V-like environment, one has the two types mcontext_t
       and ucontext_t defined in <ucontext.h> and the four functions
       getcontext(), setcontext(), makecontext(3), and swapcontext(3)
       that allow user-level context switching between multiple threads
       of control within a process.

       The mcontext_t type is machine-dependent and opaque.  The
       ucontext_t type is a structure that has at least the following

           typedef struct ucontext_t {
               struct ucontext_t *uc_link;
               sigset_t          uc_sigmask;
               stack_t           uc_stack;
               mcontext_t        uc_mcontext;
           } ucontext_t;

       with sigset_t and stack_t defined in <signal.h>.  Here uc_link
       points to the context that will be resumed when the current
       context terminates (in case the current context was created using
       makecontext(3)), uc_sigmask is the set of signals blocked in this
       context (see sigprocmask(2)), uc_stack is the stack used by this
       context (see sigaltstack(2)), and uc_mcontext is the machine-
       specific representation of the saved context, that includes the
       calling thread's machine registers.

       The function getcontext() initializes the structure pointed to by
       ucp to the currently active context.

       The function setcontext() restores the user context pointed to by
       ucp.  A successful call does not return.  The context should have
       been obtained by a call of getcontext(), or makecontext(3), or
       received as the third argument to a signal handler (see the
       discussion of the SA_SIGINFO flag in sigaction(2)).

       If the context was obtained by a call of getcontext(), program
       execution continues as if this call just returned.

       If the context was obtained by a call of makecontext(3), program
       execution continues by a call to the function func specified as
       the second argument of that call to makecontext(3).  When the
       function func returns, we continue with the uc_link member of the
       structure ucp specified as the first argument of that call to
       makecontext(3).  When this member is NULL, the thread exits.

       If the context was obtained by a call to a signal handler, then
       old standard text says that "program execution continues with the
       program instruction following the instruction interrupted by the
       signal".  However, this sentence was removed in SUSv2, and the
       present verdict is "the result is unspecified".

RETURN VALUE         top

       When successful, getcontext() returns 0 and setcontext() does not
       return.  On error, both return -1 and set errno to indicate the

ERRORS         top

       None defined.

ATTRIBUTES         top

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see
       │ Interface                  Attribute     Value            │
       │ getcontext(), setcontext() │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe race:ucp │

STANDARDS         top


HISTORY         top

       SUSv2, POSIX.1-2001.

       POSIX.1-2008 removes these functions, citing portability issues,
       and recommending that applications be rewritten to use POSIX
       threads instead.

NOTES         top

       The earliest incarnation of this mechanism was the
       setjmp(3)/longjmp(3) mechanism.  Since that does not define the
       handling of the signal context, the next stage was the
       sigsetjmp(3)/siglongjmp(3) pair.  The present mechanism gives
       much more control.  On the other hand, there is no easy way to
       detect whether a return from getcontext() is from the first call,
       or via a setcontext() call.  The user has to invent their own
       bookkeeping device, and a register variable won't do since
       registers are restored.

       When a signal occurs, the current user context is saved and a new
       context is created by the kernel for the signal handler.  Do not
       leave the handler using longjmp(3): it is undefined what would
       happen with contexts.  Use siglongjmp(3) or setcontext() instead.

SEE ALSO         top

       sigaction(2), sigaltstack(2), sigprocmask(2), longjmp(3),
       makecontext(3), sigsetjmp(3), signal(7)

Linux man-pages (unreleased)     (date)                    getcontext(3)

Pages that refer to this page: prctl(2)sigaction(2)sigreturn(2)makecontext(3)