restart_syscall — restart a system call after interruption by a stop signal


int restart_syscall(void);

[Note] Note
There is no glibc wrapper for this system call; see NOTES.


The restart_syscall() system call is used to restart certain system calls after a process that was stopped by a signal (e.g., SIGSTOP or SIGTSTP) is later resumed after receiving a SIGCONT signal. This system call is designed only for internal use by the kernel.

restart_syscall() is used for restarting only those system calls that, when restarted, should adjust their time-related parameters—namely poll(2) (since Linux 2.6.24), nanosleep(2) (since Linux 2.6), clock_nanosleep(2) (since Linux 2.6), and futex(2), when employed with the FUTEX_WAIT (since Linux 2.6.22) and FUTEX_WAIT_BITSET (since Linux 2.6.31) operations. restart_syscall() restarts the interrupted system call with a time argument that is suitably adjusted to account for the time that has already elapsed (including the time where the process was stopped by a signal). Without the restart_syscall() mechanism, restarting these system calls would not correctly deduct the already elapsed time when the process continued execution.


The return value of restart_syscall() is the return value of whatever system call is being restarted.


errno is set as per the errors for whatever system call is being restarted by restart_syscall().


The restart_syscall() system call is present since Linux 2.6.


This system call is Linux-specific.


There is no glibc wrapper for this system call, because it is intended for use only by the kernel and should never be called by applications.

The kernel uses restart_syscall() to ensure that when a system call is restarted after a process has been stopped by a signal and then resumed by SIGCONT, then the time that the process spent in the stopped state is counted against the timeout interval specified in the original system call. In the case of system calls that take a timeout argument and automatically restart after a stop signal plus SIGCONT, but which do not have the restart_syscall(2) mechanism built in, then, after the process resumes execution, the time that the process spent in the stop state is not counted against the timeout value. Notable examples of system calls that suffer this problem are ppoll(2), select(2), and pselect(2).

From user space, the operation of restart_syscall() is largely invisible: to the process that made the system call that is restarted, it appears as though that system call executed and returned in the usual fashion.


sigaction(2), sigreturn(2), signal(7)


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From: Linus Torvalds <torvalds <at>>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] compatibility syscall layer (lets try again)
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.kernel
Date: 2002-12-05 02:51:12 GMT

See also Section 11.3.3 of Understanding the Linux Kernel, 3rd edition