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Re: pthread_kill: signals remain pending after target thread exits

Hi John,

On Sep 11 18:11, John Carey wrote:
> There seems to be a problem with pthread_kill: a pending signal
> targeting a particular thread prevents other threads from receiving
> signals sharing the same signal number--even after the original target
> thread exits and is joined.
> To reproduce the issue:
>   1. Block signal number S.
>   2. Create thread T.
>   3. Send a signal with signal number S to thread T in particular (as
>   opposed to the process in general).
>   4. After that signal has been sent, allow T to terminate without
>   unblocking S or calling sigwait().
>   5. Join T.
>   6. Create thread N.
>   7. Have N call sigwait() with a signal set that contains S.
>   8. Send to N a new signal with signal number S.
>   9. N never receives the new signal--instead, the new signal is
>   discarded because the earlier signal remains pending.


> BUT: It seems possible that N might inadvertently inherit the pending
> signal if its _cygtls instance happens to be allocated at the same
> address as the _cygtls instance of T.  It would be hard to predict
> when that would happen.  See the discussion of the source code, below.

The important thing here is to get rid of the pending signal.

> For comparison, note that when performing the same steps on Linux
> (Ubuntu 14.04.3), N does in fact receive the second signal.
> Here is the relevant Cygwin source code, if I am understanding things
> correctly:
>   - : wait_sig : calls pending_signals::add, then tries to
>   process signals in the queue, but leaves queued any signal that
>   failed to process
>   - : sigpacket::process : signal processing fails if it
>   cannot find the target thread using init_cygheap::find_tls
>   - : pending_signals::add : discards new signals whose
>   signal number matches that of a pending signal--regardless of target
>   thread
>   - : init_cygheap::find_tls : looks for a thread by the
>   address of its _cygtls instance, but a thread that has been joined
>   might happen to have had the same _cygtls address as a thread that
>   was subsequently created, and therefore pending signals for
>   terminated threads might sometimes be inherited by unrelated new
>   threads (or so it seems to me--as yet I have not managed to trigger
>   such a scenario)
> In my view it would be desirable if:
>   - Pending signals targeting a particular thread would not outlast
>   that thread.

Since you looked into the code anyway, do you have an idea how to
implement that?  For a start, do you have a simple testcase, only
the bare code needed to reproduce the issue?

>   - Multiple pending signals targeting different threads could
>   coexist, even if they shared the same signal number.  This happens
>   on Linux (Ubuntu 14.04.3), where I can generate two signals for two
>   different threads, then sleep for a bit in each target thread, and
>   finally have each thread receive its signal with sigwait()--neither
>   signal is lost during the sleeping period.

That requires to extend the handling for pending signals.  That's
a rather bigger task...


Corinna Vinschen                  Please, send mails regarding Cygwin to
Cygwin Maintainer                 cygwin AT cygwin DOT com
Red Hat

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