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Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:27:26 -0500
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: [timer] timer_delete function async problem

On Sat, Feb 15, 2020 at 06:54:23PM +0800, zuotina wrote:
> Hi everrone
> Problem:
> When I created SIGEV_THREAD timer, then start it by timer_settime. like this
> the notify callback in the helper thread 'start' will be run when timer expiration.
> But when I delete the timer, the notify callback will be run all the same.
> This is not what i want. In actual use,  I encountered a problem.
> I found that the 'timer_delete' function returns immediately after called.
> The timer may not perform the delete action.

Logically the timer is deleted before the timer_delete function
returns. If the handler thread is still running a handler at the time,
that will necessarily continue intil it exits; the specification makes
no provision for timer_delete doing anything to already-running
handler threads. Since the operations are inherently unordered, it's
possible that a new handler physically starts running after the call
to timer_delete is made but before the signal is sent; as far as I can
tell this is not observable by the application (since there is no

> In addition, the SIGEV_SIGNAL timer can be deleted after called the function. 
> So i think the function has different semantics for different types.

But doing so does not stop the signal handler from running (and
fundamentally couldn't). So I don't understand what your concern is.
Is it just that the kernel timer resource still exists until the
handler thread finishes? I don't think that's visible to the
application except possibly in limiting the number of timers that can
be created.

> Is there a way to implement synchronously ?

At some point I plan to drop use of kernel timer resources entirely
for SIGEV_THREAD timers, since they can be implemented *more easily*,
with fewer hacks (no SIGTIMER at all! we can get rid of this reserved
RT signal) with just a loop performing clock_nanosleep. If/when this
change is made, there will be no kernel timer resource involed at all,
so if I understand what you're asking, I guess that would give the
behavior you want. (?)

If I'm not understanding what you're asking for, could you send a
minimal testcase program demonstrating how you observe a behavior you
consider wrong without the test invoking any UB?


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