Name

semctl — System V semaphore control operations

Synopsis

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/ipc.h>
#include <sys/sem.h>
int semctl( int semid,
  int semnum,
  int cmd,
  ...);
 

DESCRIPTION

semctl() performs the control operation specified by cmd on the System V semaphore set identified by semid, or on the semnum-th semaphore of that set. (The semaphores in a set are numbered starting at 0.)

This function has three or four arguments, depending on cmd. When there are four, the fourth has the type union semun. The calling program must define this union as follows:

union semun {
  int   val;
/* Value for SETVAL */
  struct semid_ds * buf;
/* Buffer for IPC_STAT, IPC_SET */
  unsigned short * array;
/* Array for GETALL, SETALL */
  struct seminfo * __buf;
/* Buffer for IPC_INFO
(Linux-specific) */
};

The semid_ds data structure is defined in <sys/sem.h> as follows:

struct semid_ds {
  struct ipc_perm   sem_perm;
/* Ownership and permissions */
  time_t   sem_otime;
/* Last semop time */
  time_t   sem_ctime;
/* Last change time */
  unsigned long   sem_nsems;
/* No. of semaphores in set */
};

The ipc_perm structure is defined as follows (the highlighted fields are settable using IPC_SET):

struct ipc_perm {
  key_t   __key;
/* Key supplied to semget(2) */
  uid_t   uid;
/* Effective UID of owner */
  gid_t   gid;
/* Effective GID of owner */
  uid_t   cuid;
/* Effective UID of creator */
  gid_t   cgid;
/* Effective GID of creator */
  unsigned short   mode;
/* Permissions */
  unsigned short   __seq;
/* Sequence number */
};

Valid values for cmd are:

IPC_STAT

Copy information from the kernel data structure associated with semid into the semid_ds structure pointed to by arg.buf. The argument semnum is ignored. The calling process must have read permission on the semaphore set.

IPC_SET

Write the values of some members of the semid_ds structure pointed to by arg.buf to the kernel data structure associated with this semaphore set, updating also its sem_ctime member. The following members of the structure are updated: sem_perm.uid, sem_perm.gid, and (the least significant 9 bits of) sem_perm.mode. The effective UID of the calling process must match the owner (sem_perm.uid) or creator (sem_perm.cuid) of the semaphore set, or the caller must be privileged. The argument semnum is ignored.

IPC_RMID

Immediately remove the semaphore set, awakening all processes blocked in semop(2) calls on the set (with an error return and errno set to EIDRM). The effective user ID of the calling process must match the creator or owner of the semaphore set, or the caller must be privileged. The argument semnum is ignored.

IPC_INFO (Linux-specific)

Returns information about system-wide semaphore limits and parameters in the structure pointed to by arg.__buf. This structure is of type seminfo, defined in <sys/sem.h> if the _GNU_SOURCE feature test macro is defined:

struct seminfo {
  int   semmap;
/* Number of entries in semaphore
map; unused within kernel */
  int   semmni;
/* Maximum number of semaphore sets */
  int   semmns;
/* Maximum number of semaphores in all
semaphore sets */
  int   semmnu;
/* System-wide maximum number of undo
structures; unused within kernel */
  int   semmsl;
/* Maximum number of semaphores in a
set */
  int   semopm;
/* Maximum number of operations for
semop(2) */
  int   semume;
/* Maximum number of undo entries per
process; unused within kernel */
  int   semusz;
/* Size of struct sem_undo */
  int   semvmx;
/* Maximum semaphore value */
  int   semaem;
/* Max. value that can be recorded for
semaphore adjustment (SEM_UNDO) */
};

The semmsl, semmns, semopm, and semmni settings can be changed via /proc/sys/kernel/sem; see proc(5) for details.

SEM_INFO (Linux-specific)

Returns a seminfo structure containing the same information as for IPC_INFO, except that the following fields are returned with information about system resources consumed by semaphores: the semusz field returns the number of semaphore sets that currently exist on the system; and the semaem field returns the total number of semaphores in all semaphore sets on the system.

SEM_STAT (Linux-specific)

Returns a semid_ds structure as for IPC_STAT. However, the semid argument is not a semaphore identifier, but instead an index into the kernel's internal array that maintains information about all semaphore sets on the system.

GETALL

Return semval (i.e., the current value) for all semaphores of the set into arg.array. The argument semnum is ignored. The calling process must have read permission on the semaphore set.

GETNCNT

The system call returns the value of semncnt for the semnum−th semaphore of the set (i.e., the number of processes waiting for an increase of semval for the semnum−th semaphore of the set). The calling process must have read permission on the semaphore set.

GETPID

The system call returns the value of sempid for the semnum−th semaphore of the set (i.e., the PID of the process that executed the last semop(2) call for the semnum−th semaphore of the set). The calling process must have read permission on the semaphore set.

GETVAL

The system call returns the value of semval for the semnum−th semaphore of the set. The calling process must have read permission on the semaphore set.

GETZCNT

The system call returns the value of semzcnt for the semnum−th semaphore of the set (i.e., the number of processes waiting for semval of the semnum−th semaphore of the set to become 0). The calling process must have read permission on the semaphore set.

SETALL

Set semval for all semaphores of the set using arg.array, updating also the sem_ctime member of the semid_ds structure associated with the set. Undo entries (see semop(2)) are cleared for altered semaphores in all processes. If the changes to semaphore values would permit blocked semop(2) calls in other processes to proceed, then those processes are woken up. The argument semnum is ignored. The calling process must have alter (write) permission on the semaphore set.

SETVAL

Set the value of semval to arg.val for the semnum−th semaphore of the set, updating also the sem_ctime member of the semid_ds structure associated with the set. Undo entries are cleared for altered semaphores in all processes. If the changes to semaphore values would permit blocked semop(2) calls in other processes to proceed, then those processes are woken up. The calling process must have alter permission on the semaphore set.

RETURN VALUE

On failure semctl() returns −1 with errno indicating the error.

Otherwise the system call returns a nonnegative value depending on cmd as follows:

GETNCNT

the value of semncnt.

GETPID

the value of sempid.

GETVAL

the value of semval.

GETZCNT

the value of semzcnt.

IPC_INFO

the index of the highest used entry in the kernel's internal array recording information about all semaphore sets. (This information can be used with repeated SEM_STAT operations to obtain information about all semaphore sets on the system.)

SEM_INFO

As for IPC_INFO.

SEM_STAT

the identifier of the semaphore set whose index was given in semid.

All other cmd values return 0 on success.

ERRORS

On failure, errno will be set to one of the following:

EACCES

The argument cmd has one of the values GETALL, GETPID, GETVAL, GETNCNT, GETZCNT, IPC_STAT, SEM_STAT, SETALL, or SETVAL and the calling process does not have the required permissions on the semaphore set and does not have the CAP_IPC_OWNER capability.

EFAULT

The address pointed to by arg.buf or arg.array isn't accessible.

EIDRM

The semaphore set was removed.

EINVAL

Invalid value for cmd or semid. Or: for a SEM_STAT operation, the index value specified in semid referred to an array slot that is currently unused.

EPERM

The argument cmd has the value IPC_SET or IPC_RMID but the effective user ID of the calling process is not the creator (as found in sem_perm.cuid) or the owner (as found in sem_perm.uid) of the semaphore set, and the process does not have the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability.

ERANGE

The argument cmd has the value SETALL or SETVAL and the value to which semval is to be set (for some semaphore of the set) is less than 0 or greater than the implementation limit SEMVMX.

CONFORMING TO

SVr4, POSIX.1-2001.

POSIX.1-2001 specifies the sem_nsems field of the semid_ds structure as having the type unsigned short, and the field is so defined on most other systems. It was also so defined on Linux 2.2 and earlier, but, since Linux 2.4, the field has the type unsigned long.

NOTES

The inclusion of <sys/types.h> and <sys/ipc.h> isn't required on Linux or by any version of POSIX. However, some old implementations required the inclusion of these header files, and the SVID also documented their inclusion. Applications intended to be portable to such old systems may need to include these header files.

The IPC_INFO, SEM_STAT and SEM_INFO operations are used by the ipcs(1) program to provide information on allocated resources. In the future these may modified or moved to a /proc file system interface.

Various fields in a struct semid_ds were typed as short under Linux 2.2 and have become long under Linux 2.4. To take advantage of this, a recompilation under glibc-2.1.91 or later should suffice. (The kernel distinguishes old and new calls by an IPC_64 flag in cmd.)

In some earlier versions of glibc, the semun union was defined in <sys/sem.h> but POSIX.1-2001 requires that the caller define this union. On versions of glibc where this union is not defined, the macro _SEM_SEMUN_UNDEFINED is defined in <sys/sem.h>

The following system limit on semaphore sets affects a semctl() call:

SEMVMX

Maximum value for semval: implementation dependent (32767).

For greater portability it is best to always call semctl() with four arguments.

SEE ALSO

ipc(2), semget(2), semop(2), capabilities(7), sem_overview(7), svipc(7)

COLOPHON

This page is part of release 3.52 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man−pages/.


  Copyright 1993 Giorgio Ciucci (giorgiocrcc.it)
and Copyright 2004, 2005 Michael Kerrisk <mtk.manpagesgmail.com>

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Modified Tue Oct 22 17:53:56 1996 by Eric S. Raymond <esrthyrsus.com>
Modified Fri Jun 19 10:59:15 1998 by Andries Brouwer <aebcwi.nl>
Modified Sun Feb 18 01:59:29 2001 by Andries Brouwer <aebcwi.nl>
Modified 20 Dec 2001, Michael Kerrisk <mtk.manpagesgmail.com>
Modified 21 Dec 2001, aeb
Modified 27 May 2004, Michael Kerrisk <mtk.manpagesgmail.com>
    Added notes on CAP_IPC_OWNER requirement
Modified 17 Jun 2004, Michael Kerrisk <mtk.manpagesgmail.com>
    Added notes on CAP_SYS_ADMIN requirement for IPC_SET and IPC_RMID
Modified, 11 Nov 2004, Michael Kerrisk <mtk.manpagesgmail.com>
Language and formatting clean-ups
Rewrote semun text
Added semid_ds and ipc_perm structure definitions
2005-08-02, mtk: Added IPC_INFO, SEM_INFO, SEM_STAT descriptions.