nptl — Native POSIX Threads Library
NPTL (Native POSIX Threads Library) is the GNU C library POSIX threads implementation that is used on modern Linux systems.
NPTL makes internal use of the first two real-time signals (signal numbers 32 and 33). One of these signals is used to support thread cancellation and POSIX timers (see timer_create(2)); the other is used as part of a mechanism that ensures all threads in a process always have the same UIDs and GIDs, as required by POSIX. These signals cannot be used in applications.
To prevent accidental use of these signals in applications, which might interfere with the operation of the NPTL implementation, various glibc library functions and system call wrapper functions attempt to hide these signals from applications, as follows:
SIGRTMIN is defined
with the value 34 (rather than 32).
sigfillset(3) does not include these two signals when it creates a full signal set.
At the Linux kernel level, credentials (user and group IDs) are a per-thread attribute. However, POSIX requires that all of the POSIX threads in a process have the same credentials. To accommodate this requirement, the NPTL implementation wraps all of the system calls that change process credentials with functions that, in addition to invoking the underlying system call, arrange for all other threads in the process to also change their credentials.
The implementation of each of these system calls involves the use of a real-time signal that is sent (using tgkill(2)) to each of the other threads that must change its credentials. Before sending these signals, the thread that is changing credentials saves the new credential(s) and records the system call being employed in a global buffer. A signal handler in the receiving thread(s) fetches this information and then uses the same system call to change its credentials.
For details of the conformance of NPTL to the POSIX standard, see pthreads(7).
POSIX says that any thread in any process with access to
the memory containing a process-shared (
PTHREAD_PROCESS_SHARED) mutex can operate
on that mutex. However, on 64-bit x86 systems, the mutex
definition for x86-64 is incompatible with the mutex
definition for i386, meaning that 32-bit and 64-bit binaries
can't share mutexes on x86-64 systems.
This page is part of release 4.07 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
Copyright (c) 2015 by Michael Kerrisk <mtk.manpagesgmail.com>
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
preserved on all copies.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the
entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
permission notice identical to this one.
Since the Linux kernel and libraries are constantly changing, this
manual page may be incorrect or out-of-date. The author(s) assume no
responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from
the use of the information contained herein. The author(s) may not
have taken the same level of care in the production of this manual,
which is licensed free of charge, as they might when working
Formatted or processed versions of this manual, if unaccompanied by
the source, must acknowledge the copyright and authors of this work.