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Re: [PATCH] Fix race between sem_post and semaphore destruction [BZ #12674]

On 22 May 2014 04:13, Rich Felker <> wrote:
> I think the case I had in mind goes like this:
> 1. Thread A and B are waiting, val is -1.
> 2. Thread C posts the semaphore and wakes up thread A, val is now 0.

This would be:

2. Thread C posts the semaphore and val is now 1.  It sees that the
old val was -1 and calls futex_wake, which wakes up thread A.

Similar to your implementation, sem_post increments the value by 1 if
it is non-negative and by 2 if it is negative, so sem_post will never
result in the value becoming 0.  However, there is one way in which
the value will become 0, which is in sem_wait.  sem_wait will reset
the value to 0 when it sees no waiters.  This could technically race
with another waiter that has not yet called futex_wait, but that
situation fixes itself since the futex_wait will return with
EWOULDBLOCK and fix the value to -1 and call futex_wait again.

> You cannot modify sem_post to set the value to -1 rather than 0 if
> there's a waiter, because of two issues; one is fundamental and the
> other is merely a performance concern:

sem_wait sets the value to -1, not sem_post.  sem_post always sets the
value to something positive.


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