signal


DESCRIPTION
       Linux  supports both POSIX reliable signals (hereinafter "standard sig-
       nals") and POSIX real-time signals.

   Signal Dispositions
       Each signal has a current disposition, which determines how the process
       behaves when it is delivered the signal.

       The  entries  in  the  "Action"  column of the tables below specify the
       default disposition for each signal, as follows:

       Term   Default action is to terminate the process.

       Ign    Default action is to ignore the signal.

       Core   Default action is to terminate the process and  dump  core  (see
              core(5)).

       Stop   Default action is to stop the process.

       Cont   Default  action  is  to  continue the process if it is currently
              stopped.

       A process can change the disposition of a signal using sigaction(2)  or
       (less  portably)  signal(2).   Using  these system calls, a process can
       elect one of the following behaviors to occur on delivery of  the  sig-
       nal: perform the default action; ignore the signal; or catch the signal
       with a signal handler, a programmer-defined function that is  automati-
       cally  invoked  when  the signal is delivered.  (By default, the signal
       handler is invoked on the normal process  stack.   It  is  possible  to
       arrange  that  the  signal handler uses an alternate stack; see sigalt-
       stack(2) for a discussion of how to do this and when it might  be  use-
       ful.)

       The  signal  disposition is a per-process attribute: in a multithreaded
       application, the disposition of a particular signal is the same for all
       threads.

       A child created via fork(2) inherits a copy of its parent's signal dis-
       positions.  During an execve(2), the dispositions  of  handled  signals
       are  reset to the default; the dispositions of ignored signals are left
       unchanged.

   Sending a Signal
       The following system calls and library functions allow  the  caller  to
       send a signal:

       raise(3)        Sends a signal to the calling thread.

       kill(2)         Sends  a  signal to a specified process, to all members
                       of a specified process group, or to  all  processes  on
                       the system.


   Waiting for a Signal to be Caught
       The following system calls suspend execution of the calling process  or
       thread  until a signal is caught (or an unhandled signal terminates the
       process):

       pause(2)        Suspends execution until any signal is caught.

       sigsuspend(2)   Temporarily changes the signal  mask  (see  below)  and
                       suspends execution until one of the unmasked signals is
                       caught.

   Synchronously Accepting a Signal
       Rather than asynchronously catching a signal via a signal  handler,  it
       is  possible to synchronously accept the signal, that is, to block exe-
       cution until the signal is delivered, at which point the kernel returns
       information about the signal to the caller.  There are two general ways
       to do this:

       * sigwaitinfo(2), sigtimedwait(2),  and  sigwait(3)  suspend  execution
         until  one  of  the signals in a specified set is delivered.  Each of
         these calls returns information about the delivered signal.

       * signalfd(2) returns a file descriptor that can be used to read infor-
         mation  about signals that are delivered to the caller.  Each read(2)
         from this file descriptor blocks until one of the signals in the  set
         specified  in  the  signalfd(2) call is delivered to the caller.  The
         buffer returned by read(2) contains a structure describing  the  sig-
         nal.

   Signal Mask and Pending Signals
       A  signal  may  be  blocked,  which means that it will not be delivered
       until it is later unblocked.  Between the time when it is generated and
       when it is delivered a signal is said to be pending.

       Each  thread  in  a process has an independent signal mask, which indi-
       cates the set of signals that the  thread  is  currently  blocking.   A
       thread  can  manipulate its signal mask using pthread_sigmask(3).  In a
       traditional single-threaded application, sigprocmask(2) can be used  to
       manipulate the signal mask.

       A  child  created  via  fork(2)  inherits a copy of its parent's signal
       mask; the signal mask is preserved across execve(2).

       A signal may be generated (and thus pending) for a process as  a  whole
       (e.g., when sent using kill(2)) or for a specific thread (e.g., certain
       signals, such as SIGSEGV and SIGFPE, generated as a consequence of exe-
       cuting  a specific machine-language instruction are thread directed, as
       are signals targeted at a specific thread  using  pthread_kill(3)).   A
       process-directed signal may be delivered to any one of the threads that
       does not currently have the signal blocked.  If more than  one  of  the
       threads  has the signal unblocked, then the kernel chooses an arbitrary
       thread to which to deliver the signal.

       and  sparc,  the  middle one for ix86, ia64, ppc, s390, arm and sh, and
       the last one for mips.  A - denotes that a signal is absent on the cor-
       responding architecture.)

       First the signals described in the original POSIX.1-1990 standard.

       Signal     Value     Action   Comment
       ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       SIGHUP        1       Term    Hangup detected on controlling terminal
                                     or death of controlling process
       SIGINT        2       Term    Interrupt from keyboard
       SIGQUIT       3       Core    Quit from keyboard
       SIGILL        4       Core    Illegal Instruction
       SIGABRT       6       Core    Abort signal from abort(3)
       SIGFPE        8       Core    Floating point exception
       SIGKILL       9       Term    Kill signal
       SIGSEGV      11       Core    Invalid memory reference
       SIGPIPE      13       Term    Broken pipe: write to pipe with no
                                     readers
       SIGALRM      14       Term    Timer signal from alarm(2)
       SIGTERM      15       Term    Termination signal
       SIGUSR1   30,10,16    Term    User-defined signal 1
       SIGUSR2   31,12,17    Term    User-defined signal 2
       SIGCHLD   20,17,18    Ign     Child stopped or terminated
       SIGCONT   19,18,25    Cont    Continue if stopped
       SIGSTOP   17,19,23    Stop    Stop process
       SIGTSTP   18,20,24    Stop    Stop typed at tty
       SIGTTIN   21,21,26    Stop    tty input for background process
       SIGTTOU   22,22,27    Stop    tty output for background process

       The signals SIGKILL and SIGSTOP cannot be caught, blocked, or ignored.

       Next  the  signals  not  in  the POSIX.1-1990 standard but described in
       SUSv2 and POSIX.1-2001.

       Signal       Value     Action   Comment
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
       SIGBUS      10,7,10     Core    Bus error (bad memory access)
       SIGPOLL                 Term    Pollable event (Sys V).
                                       Synonym for SIGIO
       SIGPROF     27,27,29    Term    Profiling timer expired
       SIGSYS      12,-,12     Core    Bad argument to routine (SVr4)
       SIGTRAP        5        Core    Trace/breakpoint trap
       SIGURG      16,23,21    Ign     Urgent condition on socket (4.2BSD)
       SIGVTALRM   26,26,28    Term    Virtual alarm clock (4.2BSD)
       SIGXCPU     24,24,30    Core    CPU time limit exceeded (4.2BSD)
       SIGXFSZ     25,25,31    Core    File size limit exceeded (4.2BSD)

       Up to and including Linux 2.2, the default behavior for  SIGSYS,  SIGX-
       CPU,  SIGXFSZ,  and (on architectures other than SPARC and MIPS) SIGBUS
       was to terminate the process (without a core  dump).   (On  some  other
       Unix systems the default action for SIGXCPU and SIGXFSZ is to terminate
       the  process  without  a  core  dump.)   Linux  2.4  conforms  to   the
       POSIX.1-2001  requirements  for  these signals, terminating the process
       SIGPWR      29,30,19    Term    Power failure (System V)
       SIGINFO      29,-,-             A synonym for SIGPWR
       SIGLOST      -,-,-      Term    File lock lost
       SIGWINCH    28,28,20    Ign     Window resize signal (4.3BSD, Sun)
       SIGUNUSED    -,31,-     Term    Unused signal (will be SIGSYS)

       (Signal 29 is SIGINFO / SIGPWR on an alpha but SIGLOST on a sparc.)

       SIGEMT is not specified in POSIX.1-2001, but  nevertheless  appears  on
       most  other Unix systems, where its default action is typically to ter-
       minate the process with a core dump.

       SIGPWR (which is not specified in POSIX.1-2001) is typically ignored by
       default on those other Unix systems where it appears.

       SIGIO (which is not specified in POSIX.1-2001) is ignored by default on
       several other Unix systems.

   Real-time Signals
       Linux supports real-time signals as originally defined in the  POSIX.1b
       real-time  extensions (and now included in POSIX.1-2001).  The range of
       supported real-time signals is  defined  by  the  macros  SIGRTMIN  and
       SIGRTMAX.   POSIX.1-2001  requires  that  an  implementation support at
       least _POSIX_RTSIG_MAX (8) real-time signals.

       The Linux kernel supports a range of 32  different  real-time  signals,
       numbered  33  to  64.   However, the glibc POSIX threads implementation
       internally uses two (for NPTL) or three  (for  LinuxThreads)  real-time
       signals  (see  pthreads(7)), and adjusts the value of SIGRTMIN suitably
       (to 34 or 35).  Because the range of available real-time signals varies
       according to the glibc threading implementation (and this variation can
       occur at run time according to the available  kernel  and  glibc),  and
       indeed  the range of real-time signals varies across Unix systems, pro-
       grams should never refer to real-time signals using hard-coded numbers,
       but instead should always refer to real-time signals using the notation
       SIGRTMIN+n, and include suitable (run-time) checks that SIGRTMIN+n does
       not exceed SIGRTMAX.

       Unlike standard signals, real-time signals have no predefined meanings:
       the entire set of real-time signals can be used for application-defined
       purposes.   (Note,  however,  that the LinuxThreads implementation uses
       the first three real-time signals.)

       The default action for an unhandled real-time signal  is  to  terminate
       the receiving process.

       Real-time signals are distinguished by the following:

       1.  Multiple  instances  of  real-time  signals can be queued.  By con-
           trast, if multiple instances of a  standard  signal  are  delivered
           while  that  signal is currently blocked, then only one instance is
           queued.

       2.  If the signal is sent  using  sigqueue(2),  an  accompanying  value
           (I.e.,  low-numbered  signals have highest priority.)  By contrast,
           if multiple standard signals are pending for a process,  the  order
           in which they are delivered is unspecified.

       If both standard and real-time signals are pending for a process, POSIX
       leaves it unspecified which is delivered first.  Linux, like many other
       implementations, gives priority to standard signals in this case.

       According   to   POSIX,   an  implementation  should  permit  at  least
       _POSIX_SIGQUEUE_MAX (32) real-time signals to be queued to  a  process.
       However, Linux does things differently.  In kernels up to and including
       2.6.7, Linux imposes a system-wide limit on the number of queued  real-
       time  signals  for  all  processes.  This limit can be viewed and (with
       privilege) changed via the /proc/sys/kernel/rtsig-max file.  A  related
       file, /proc/sys/kernel/rtsig-nr, can be used to find out how many real-
       time signals are currently queued.  In Linux 2.6.8, these /proc  inter-
       faces  were  replaced  by  the  RLIMIT_SIGPENDING resource limit, which
       specifies a per-user limit for queued  signals;  see  setrlimit(2)  for
       further details.

   Async-signal-safe functions
       A signal handling routine established by sigaction(2) or signal(2) must
       be very careful, since processing elsewhere may be interrupted at  some
       arbitrary point in the execution of the program.  POSIX has the concept
       of "safe function".  If a signal interrupts the execution of an  unsafe
       function,  and  handler  calls an unsafe function, then the behavior of
       the program is undefined.

       POSIX.1-2004 (also  known  as  POSIX.1-2001  Technical  Corrigendum  2)
       requires  an  implementation  to guarantee that the following functions
       can be safely called inside a signal handler:

           _Exit()
           _exit()
           abort()
           accept()
           access()
           aio_error()
           aio_return()
           aio_suspend()
           alarm()
           bind()
           cfgetispeed()
           cfgetospeed()
           cfsetispeed()
           cfsetospeed()
           chdir()
           chmod()
           chown()
           clock_gettime()
           close()
           connect()
           creat()
           dup()
           getegid()
           geteuid()
           getgid()
           getgroups()
           getpeername()
           getpgrp()
           getpid()
           getppid()
           getsockname()
           getsockopt()
           getuid()
           kill()
           link()
           listen()
           lseek()
           lstat()
           mkdir()
           mkfifo()
           open()
           pathconf()
           pause()
           pipe()
           poll()
           posix_trace_event()
           pselect()
           raise()
           read()
           readlink()
           recv()
           recvfrom()
           recvmsg()
           rename()
           rmdir()
           select()
           sem_post()
           send()
           sendmsg()
           sendto()
           setgid()
           setpgid()
           setsid()
           setsockopt()
           setuid()
           shutdown()
           sigaction()
           sigaddset()
           sigdelset()
           sigemptyset()
           sigfillset()
           sigismember()
           signal()
           sigpause()
           sigpending()
           sigprocmask()
           tcflush()
           tcgetattr()
           tcgetpgrp()
           tcsendbreak()
           tcsetattr()
           tcsetpgrp()
           time()
           timer_getoverrun()
           timer_gettime()
           timer_settime()
           times()
           umask()
           uname()
           unlink()
           utime()
           wait()
           waitpid()
           write()

       POSIX.1-2008 removes fpathconf(), pathconf(), and  sysconf()  from  the
       above list, and adds the following functions:

           execl()
           execv()
           faccessat()
           fchmodat()
           fchownat()
           fexecve()
           fstatat()
           futimens()
           linkat()
           mkdirat()
           mkfifoat()
           mknod()
           mknodat()
           openat()
           readlinkat()
           renameat()
           symlinkat()
           unlinkat()
           utimensat()
           utimes()

   Interruption of System Calls and Library Functions by Signal Handlers
       If  a signal handler is invoked while a system call or library function
       call is blocked, then either:

       * the call is automatically restarted after the signal handler returns;
         or

       * the call fails with the error EINTR.

       Which  of  these  two  behaviors  occurs  depends  on the interface and
       whether or not the signal handler was established using the  SA_RESTART
             tion.)   If  an I/O call on a slow device has already transferred
             some data by the time it is interrupted by a signal handler, then
             the  call  will  return a success status (normally, the number of
             bytes transferred).

           * open(2), if  it  can  block  (e.g.,  when  opening  a  FIFO;  see
             fifo(7)).

           * wait(2), wait3(2), wait4(2), waitid(2), and waitpid(2).

           * Socket  interfaces:  accept(2), connect(2), recv(2), recvfrom(2),
             recvmsg(2), send(2), sendto(2), and sendmsg(2), unless a  timeout
             has been set on the socket (see below).

           * File locking interfaces: flock(2) and fcntl(2) F_SETLKW.

           * POSIX   message   queue   interfaces:   mq_receive(3),   mq_time-
             dreceive(3), mq_send(3), and mq_timedsend(3).

           * futex(2)  FUTEX_WAIT  (since  Linux  2.6.22;  beforehand,  always
             failed with EINTR).

           * POSIX  semaphore  interfaces:  sem_wait(3)  and  sem_timedwait(3)
             (since Linux 2.6.22; beforehand, always failed with EINTR).

       The following interfaces are never restarted after being interrupted by
       a signal handler, regardless of the use of SA_RESTART; they always fail
       with the error EINTR when interrupted by a signal handler:

           * Socket interfaces, when a timeout has  been  set  on  the  socket
             using   setsockopt(2):   accept(2),   recv(2),  recvfrom(2),  and
             recvmsg(2), if a receive timeout (SO_RCVTIMEO) has been set; con-
             nect(2),  send(2),  sendto(2),  and sendmsg(2), if a send timeout
             (SO_SNDTIMEO) has been set.

           * Interfaces used to wait  for  signals:  pause(2),  sigsuspend(2),
             sigtimedwait(2), and sigwaitinfo(2).

           * File    descriptor    multiplexing   interfaces:   epoll_wait(2),
             epoll_pwait(2), poll(2), ppoll(2), select(2), and pselect(2).

           * System V IPC interfaces: msgrcv(2), msgsnd(2), semop(2), and sem-
             timedop(2).

           * Sleep    interfaces:    clock_nanosleep(2),   nanosleep(2),   and
             usleep(3).

           * read(2) from an inotify(7) file descriptor.

           * io_getevents(2).

       The sleep(3) function is also never restarted if interrupted by a  han-
       dler,  but  gives  a success return: the number of seconds remaining to
       sleep.
             nect(2), send(2), sendto(2), and sendmsg(2), if  a  send  timeout
             (SO_SNDTIMEO) has been set.

           * epoll_wait(2), epoll_pwait(2).

           * semop(2), semtimedop(2).

           * sigtimedwait(2), sigwaitinfo(2).

           * read(2) from an inotify(7) file descriptor.

           * Linux  2.6.21 and earlier: futex(2) FUTEX_WAIT, sem_timedwait(3),
             sem_wait(3).

           * Linux 2.6.8 and earlier: msgrcv(2), msgsnd(2).

           * Linux 2.4 and earlier: nanosleep(2).

CONFORMING TO
       POSIX.1, except as noted.

BUGS
       SIGIO and SIGLOST have the same value.  The latter is commented out  in
       the  kernel source, but the build process of some software still thinks
       that signal 29 is SIGLOST.

SEE ALSO
       kill(1), getrlimit(2), kill(2), killpg(2), setitimer(2),  setrlimit(2),
       sgetmask(2), sigaction(2), sigaltstack(2), signal(2), signalfd(2), sig-
       pending(2), sigprocmask(2), sigqueue(2), sigsuspend(2), sigwaitinfo(2),
       abort(3), bsd_signal(3), longjmp(3), raise(3), sigset(3), sigsetops(3),
       sigvec(3), sigwait(3), strsignal(3), sysv_signal(3), core(5),  proc(5),
       pthreads(7)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 3.23 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting  bugs,  can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                             2008-10-15                         SIGNAL(7)
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