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qarma February 2016

Share futex between unrelated processes

How can unrelated processes cooperate using a futex?

Let's say I have unrelated processes, one being, say, an apache subprocess with my module, another being e.g. a background script.

I'd like to establish a condition variable with a mutex between the two using a futex, to benefit for user-space fast code path.

It seems to me that memory at which mutex is stored could be in a mmap'd file, if that memory is mapped, e.g. mlock'd the two processes could theoretically issue futex calls against same address.

Alternatively, perhaps a futex can be passed from one process to another using FUTEX_FD.

Code submissions low-, high-level and dynamic languages are accepted (C, C++, Python, etc.). "robust futex" API must be supported too.



sancelot February 2016

mutex are defined to lock access to shared resources. This does not seem what you want to do .

if you want both process to cooperate, you may either use shared mmap area, or semaphore

qarma February 2016

Thanks Phillip and Felix M. for pointers.

Python user code (file with data structures already exists, initialised with PTHREAD_PROCESS_SHARED)

with open("/tmp/semaphore", "rb+") as f:
    m = mmap.mmap(f.fileno(), 0)  # default: all file, share, read-write

data = ffi.cast("unsigned long[3]", id(m))[2]  # pointer to mapped area, 64-bit CPython
lock = ffi.cast("pthread_mutex_t *", data)
cond = ffi.cast("pthread_cond_t *", data + 40)

def locked(alock):
    assert not C.pthread_mutex_lock(alock)
        assert not C.pthread_mutex_unlock(alock)

Wait and get awoken:

if "wait" in sys.argv:
    with locked(lock):
        assert not C.pthread_cond_wait(cond, lock)

elif "signal" in sys.argv:
    with locked(lock):
        assert not C.pthread_cond_signal(cond)


l = ffi.new("pthread_mutexattr_t *")
assert not C.pthread_mutexattr_init(l)
assert not C.pthread_mutexattr_setpshared(l, 1)  # PTHREAD_PROCESS_SHARED
assert not C.pthread_mutex_init(lock, l)
# same for condition variable

Full code for nitpicks :-) https://github.com/dimaqq/pthread_mutexattr_init/blob/master/xsem.py based on http://linux.die.net/man/3/pthread_mutexattr_init

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Asked in February 2016
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