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Hi, I am developing APIs for multithreaded applications. I wanted to develop multiple timers. But there is only one signal SIGALRM for timer related signals. Even though i use the ...
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Multiple signal handling for timers


    Hi,

    I am developing APIs for multithreaded applications.
    I wanted to develop multiple timers. But there is only one signal SIGALRM
    for timer related signals.

    Even though i use the same signal in all timers, In my signal handler, how can i distinguish which timer has raised the
    SIGALRM signal?

    Or is there any other way to implement multiple timers?

    Note : I am in user space.

    Please suggest..

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Here is the itimer manpage that explains what you can do:
    Code:
    GETITIMER(2)               Linux Programmerís Manual              GETITIMER(2)
    
    NAME
           getitimer, setitimer - get or set value of an interval timer
    
    SYNOPSIS
           #include <sys/time.h>
    
           int getitimer(int which, struct itimerval *curr_value);
           int setitimer(int which, const struct itimerval *new_value,
                         struct itimerval *old_value);
    
    DESCRIPTION
           The system provides each process with three interval timers, each decrementing in a distinct time domain.  When
           any timer expires, a signal is sent to the process, and the timer (potentially) restarts.
    
           ITIMER_REAL    decrements in real time, and delivers SIGALRM upon expiration.
    
           ITIMER_VIRTUAL decrements only when the process is executing, and delivers SIGVTALRM upon expiration.
    
           ITIMER_PROF    decrements both when the process executes and when the system is executing on behalf of the pro-
                          cess.   Coupled with ITIMER_VIRTUAL, this timer is usually used to profile the time spent by the
                          application in user and kernel space.  SIGPROF is delivered upon expiration.
    
           Timer values are defined by the following structures:
    
               struct itimerval {
                   struct timeval it_interval; /* next value */
                   struct timeval it_value;    /* current value */
               };
    
               struct timeval {
                   long tv_sec;                /* seconds */
                   long tv_usec;               /* microseconds */
               };
    
           The function getitimer() fills the structure pointed to by curr_value with the current setting  for  the  timer
           specified  by  which  (one of ITIMER_REAL, ITIMER_VIRTUAL, or ITIMER_PROF).  The element it_value is set to the
           amount of time remaining on the timer, or zero if the timer is disabled.  Similarly, it_interval is set to  the
           reset value.
    
           The function setitimer() sets the specified timer to the value in new_value.  If old_value is non-NULL, the old
    
           value of the timer is stored there.
    
           Timers decrement from it_value to zero, generate a signal, and reset to it_interval.  A timer which is  set  to
           zero (it_value is zero or the timer expires and it_interval is zero) stops.
    
           Both tv_sec and tv_usec are significant in determining the duration of a timer.
    
           Timers  will never expire before the requested time, but may expire some (short) time afterwards, which depends
           on the system timer resolution and on the system load; see time(7).  (But see BUGS below.)  Upon expiration,  a
           signal  will  be  generated and the timer reset.  If the timer expires while the process is active (always true
           for ITIMER_VIRTUAL) the signal will be delivered immediately when generated.  Otherwise the  delivery  will  be
           offset by a small time dependent on the system loading.
    
    RETURN VALUE
           On success, zero is returned.  On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.
    
    ERRORS
           EFAULT new_value, old_value, or curr_value is not valid a pointer.
    
           EINVAL which  is  not  one  of  ITIMER_REAL, ITIMER_VIRTUAL, or ITIMER_PROF; or (since Linux 2.6.22) one of the
                  tv_usec fields in the structure pointed to by new_value contains a value outside the range 0 to  999999.
    
    CONFORMING TO
           POSIX.1-2001,  SVr4,  4.4BSD  (this  call  first  appeared  in  4.2BSD).   POSIX.1-2008  marks  getitimer() and
           setitimer() obsolete, recommending the use of the POSIX timers API (timer_gettime(2),  timer_settime(2),  etc.)
           instead.
    
    NOTES
           A  child  created  via  fork(2)  does  not inherit its parentís interval timers.  Interval timers are preserved
           across an execve(2).
    
           POSIX.1 leaves the interaction between setitimer() and the three interfaces alarm(2), sleep(3),  and  usleep(3)
           unspecified.
    
    BUGS
           The generation and delivery of a signal are distinct, and only one instance of each of the signals listed above
           may be pending for a process.  Under very heavy loading, an ITIMER_REAL timer may expire before the signal from
           a previous expiration has been delivered.  The second signal in such an event will be lost.
    
           On Linux kernels before 2.6.16, timer values are represented in jiffies.  If a request is made set a timer with
           a value whose jiffies representation exceeds MAX_SEC_IN_JIFFIES (defined in include/linux/jiffies.h), then  the
           timer is silently truncated to this ceiling value.  On Linux/i386 (where, since Linux 2.6.13, the default jiffy
    
           is 0.004 seconds), this means that the ceiling value for a timer is  approximately  99.42  days.   Since  Linux
           2.6.16, the kernel uses a different internal representation for times, and this ceiling is removed.
    
           On  certain  systems (including i386), Linux kernels before version 2.6.12 have a bug which will produce prema-
           ture timer expirations of up to one jiffy under some circumstances.  This bug is fixed in kernel 2.6.12.
    
           POSIX.1-2001 says that setitimer() should fail if a tv_usec value is specified that is outside of the  range  0
           to  999999.  However, in kernels up to and including 2.6.21, Linux does not give an error, but instead silently
           adjusts the corresponding seconds value for the timer.  From kernel 2.6.22 onwards,  this  non-conformance  has
           been repaired: an improper tv_usec value results in an EINVAL error.
    
    SEE ALSO
           gettimeofday(2), sigaction(2), signal(2), timer_create(2), timerfd_create(2), time(7)
    
    COLOPHON
           This  page  is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project, and informa-
           tion about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
    
    Linux                             2009-03-15                      GETITIMER(2)
    Note that these are simple interval timers and only raise SIGALRM, SIGVTALRM, or SIGPROF depending upon the timer type selected. However, you can also use sys_timer_create() which allows you to specify a differnt sigevent structure for each timer, and that has a place for the function to call when the timer triggers. Here is the manpage for that:
    Code:
    TIMER_CREATE(2)            Linux Programmerís Guide            TIMER_CREATE(2)
    
    NAME
           timer_create - Create a POSIX.1b interval timer clock
    
    SYNOPSIS
           long sys_timer_create (clockid_t which_clock, struct sigevent *timer_event_spec, timer_t *created_timer_id);
    
    DESCRIPTION
           timer_create  creates  a POSIX.1b interval timer, pointed to by created_timer_id, using the which_clock format.
           The timer_event_spec points to a sigevent structure if non-NULL.  The  sigevent  structure  defines  the  asyn-
           chronous notification that occurs when the timer expires.
    
           The values that clockid_t currently supports for POSIX.1b timers, as defined in include/linux.time.h, are:
    
           CLOCK_REALTIME
                  Systemwide realtime clock.
    
           CLOCK_MONOTONIC
                  Represents monotonic time. Cannot be set.
    
           CLOCK_PROCESS_CPUTIME_ID
                  High resolution per-process timer.
    
           CLOCK_THREAD_CPUTIME_ID
                  Thread-specific timer.
    
           CLOCK_REALTIME_HR
                  High resolution version of CLOCK_REALTIME.
    
           CLOCK_MONOTONIC_HR
                  High resolution version of CLOCK_MONOTONIC.
    
    RETURN VALUE
           timer_create  returns 0 on success and updates the created_timer_id value; otherwise, it returns one of the er-
           rors listed in the "Errors" section.
    
    ERRORS
           -EINVAL
                  An invalid which_clock value was specified.
    
           The values that clockid_t currently supports for POSIX.1b timers, as defined in include/linux.time.h, are:
    
           CLOCK_REALTIME
                  Systemwide realtime clock.
    
           CLOCK_MONOTONIC
                  Represents monotonic time. Cannot be set.
    
           CLOCK_PROCESS_CPUTIME_ID
                  High resolution per-process timer.
    
           CLOCK_THREAD_CPUTIME_ID
                  Thread-specific timer.
    
           CLOCK_REALTIME_HR
                  High resolution version of CLOCK_REALTIME.
    
           CLOCK_MONOTONIC_HR
                  High resolution version of CLOCK_MONOTONIC.
    
    RETURN VALUE
           timer_create  returns 0 on success and updates the created_timer_id value; otherwise, it returns one of the er-
           rors listed in the "Errors" section.
    
    ERRORS
           -EINVAL
                  An invalid which_clock value was specified.
    
           -EAGAIN
                  The system could not process the request.
    
           -EFAULT
                  An invalid timer_event_spec value was specified.
    
    SEE ALSO
           timer_delete(2), timer_getoverrun(2), timer_gettime(2), timer_settime(2)
    
    AUTHOR
           Niki Rahimi
    
    Linux 2.6                        2004-March-12                 TIMER_CREATE(2)
    I hope this helps.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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