PTHREAD_CANCEL(3)          Linux Programmer's Manual         PTHREAD_CANCEL(3)

       pthread_cancel - send a cancellation request to a thread

       #include <pthread.h>

       int pthread_cancel(pthread_t thread);

       Compile and link with -pthread.

       The  pthread_cancel()  function  sends  a  cancellation  request to the
       thread thread.  Whether and when the target thread reacts to  the  can-
       cellation  request depends on two attributes that are under the control
       of that thread: its cancelability state and type.

       A  thread's  cancelability  state,  determined  by   pthread_setcancel-
       state(3), can be enabled (the default for new threads) or disabled.  If
       a thread has disabled cancellation, then a cancellation request remains
       queued  until the thread enables cancellation.  If a thread has enabled
       cancellation, then its cancelability type determines when  cancellation

       A  thread's  cancellation type, determined by pthread_setcanceltype(3),
       may be either asynchronous or deferred (the default for  new  threads).
       Asynchronous cancelability means that the thread can be canceled at any
       time (usually immediately, but the system  does  not  guarantee  this).
       Deferred  cancelability  means  that cancellation will be delayed until
       the thread next calls a function that is a cancellation point.  A  list
       of  functions  that  are  or  may be cancellation points is provided in

       When a cancellation requested is acted on, the  following  steps  occur
       for thread (in this order):

       1. Cancellation clean-up handlers are popped (in the reverse of the or-
          der   in   which   they   were    pushed)    and    called.     (See

       2. Thread-specific  data  destructors are called, in an unspecified or-
          der.  (See pthread_key_create(3).)

       3. The thread is terminated.  (See pthread_exit(3).)

       The above steps happen asynchronously with respect to the  pthread_can-
       cel()  call;  the  return status of pthread_cancel() merely informs the
       caller whether the cancellation request was successfully queued.

       After a canceled thread has terminated, a join with that  thread  using
       pthread_join(3)  obtains  PTHREAD_CANCELED as the thread's exit status.
       (Joining with a thread is the only way to know  that  cancellation  has

       On  success, pthread_cancel() returns 0; on error, it returns a nonzero
       error number.

       ESRCH  No thread with the ID thread could be found.

       For an  explanation  of  the  terms  used  in  this  section,  see  at-

       |Interface        | Attribute     | Value   |
       |pthread_cancel() | Thread safety | MT-Safe |

       POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.

       On  Linux,  cancellation  is implemented using signals.  Under the NPTL
       threading implementation, the first real-time signal (i.e., signal  32)
       is used for this purpose.  On LinuxThreads, the second real-time signal
       is used, if real-time signals are available, otherwise SIGUSR2 is used.

       The program below creates a thread  and  then  cancels  it.   The  main
       thread joins with the canceled thread to check that its exit status was
       PTHREAD_CANCELED.  The following shell session shows what happens  when
       we run the program:

           $ ./a.out
           thread_func(): started; cancellation disabled
           main(): sending cancellation request
           thread_func(): about to enable cancellation
           main(): thread was canceled

   Program source

       #include <pthread.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <errno.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <unistd.h>

       #define handle_error_en(en, msg) \
               do { errno = en; perror(msg); exit(EXIT_FAILURE); } while (0)

       static void *
       thread_func(void *ignored_argument)
           int s;

           /* Disable cancellation for a while, so that we don't
              immediately react to a cancellation request */

           s = pthread_setcancelstate(PTHREAD_CANCEL_DISABLE, NULL);
           if (s != 0)
               handle_error_en(s, "pthread_setcancelstate");

           printf("thread_func(): started; cancellation disabled\n");
           printf("thread_func(): about to enable cancellation\n");

           s = pthread_setcancelstate(PTHREAD_CANCEL_ENABLE, NULL);
           if (s != 0)
               handle_error_en(s, "pthread_setcancelstate");

           /* sleep() is a cancellation point */

           sleep(1000);        /* Should get canceled while we sleep */

           /* Should never get here */

           printf("thread_func(): not canceled!\n");
           return NULL;


           pthread_t thr;
           void *res;
           int s;

           /* Start a thread and then send it a cancellation request */

           s = pthread_create(&thr, NULL, &thread_func, NULL);
           if (s != 0)
               handle_error_en(s, "pthread_create");

           sleep(2);           /* Give thread a chance to get started */

           printf("main(): sending cancellation request\n");
           s = pthread_cancel(thr);
           if (s != 0)
               handle_error_en(s, "pthread_cancel");

           /* Join with thread to see what its exit status was */

           s = pthread_join(thr, &res);
           if (s != 0)
               handle_error_en(s, "pthread_join");

           if (res == PTHREAD_CANCELED)
               printf("main(): thread was canceled\n");
               printf("main(): thread wasn't canceled (shouldn't happen!)\n");

       pthread_cleanup_push(3), pthread_create(3), pthread_exit(3),
       pthread_join(3), pthread_key_create(3), pthread_setcancelstate(3),
       pthread_setcanceltype(3), pthread_testcancel(3), pthreads(7)

       This page is part of release 5.05 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                             2019-03-06                 PTHREAD_CANCEL(3)
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