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GETCONTEXT(2)              Linux Programmer's Manual             GETCONTEXT(2)



NAME
       getcontext, setcontext - get or set the user context

SYNOPSIS
       #include <&lt;ucontext.h>&gt;

       int getcontext(ucontext_t *ucp);
       int setcontext(const ucontext_t *ucp);

DESCRIPTION
       In  a  System  V-like environment, one has the two types mcontext_t and
       ucontext_t defined in &lt;ucontext.h&gt; and the four functions getcontext(),
       setcontext(),  makecontext(3)  and swapcontext(3) that allow user-level
       context switching between multiple threads of control within a process.

       The mcontext_t type is machine-dependent and  opaque.   The  ucontext_t
       type is a structure that has at least the following fields:

           typedef struct ucontext {
               struct ucontext *uc_link;
               sigset_t         uc_sigmask;
               stack_t          uc_stack;
               mcontext_t       uc_mcontext;
               ...
           } ucontext_t;

       with  sigset_t  and stack_t defined in &lt;signal.h&gt;.  Here uc_link points
       to the context that will be resumed when the current context terminates
       (in case the current context was created using makecontext(3)), uc_sig-
       mask is the set of  signals  blocked  in  this  context  (see  sigproc-
       mask(2)),  uc_stack  is  the  stack  used  by this context (see sigalt-
       stack(2)), and uc_mcontext is the  machine-specific  representation  of
       the  saved  context,  that includes the calling thread's machine regis-
       ters.

       The function getcontext() initializes the structure pointed at  by  ucp
       to the currently active context.

       The  function setcontext() restores the user context pointed at by ucp.
       A successful call does  not  return.   The  context  should  have  been
       obtained  by  a  call  of getcontext(), or makecontext(3), or passed as
       third argument to a signal handler.

       If the context was obtained by a call of getcontext(),  program  execu-
       tion continues as if this call just returned.

       If the context was obtained by a call of makecontext(3), program execu-
       tion continues by a call to the function func specified as  the  second
       argument  of  that  call  to  makecontext(3).   When  the function func
       returns, we continue with the uc_link member of the structure ucp spec-
       ified  as the first argument of that call to makecontext(3).  When this
       member is NULL, the thread exits.

       If the context was obtained by a call to a  signal  handler,  then  old
       standard  text  says that "program execution continues with the program
       instruction following the instruction interrupted by the signal".  How-
       ever,  this  sentence  was removed in SUSv2, and the present verdict is
       "the result is unspecified".

RETURN VALUE
       When successful, getcontext()  returns  0  and  setcontext()  does  not
       return.  On error, both return -1 and set errno appropriately.

ERRORS
       None defined.

CONFORMING TO
       SUSv2, POSIX.1-2001.

NOTES
       The earliest incarnation of this mechanism was the setjmp(3)/longjmp(3)
       mechanism.  Since that does not define the handling of the signal  con-
       text,  the  next  stage  was  the sigsetjmp(3)/siglongjmp(3) pair.  The
       present mechanism gives much more control.  On the other hand, there is
       no  easy  way  to detect whether a return from getcontext() is from the
       first call, or via a setcontext() call.  The user has to invent her own
       bookkeeping  device,  and  a register variable won't do since registers
       are restored.

       When a signal occurs, the current user context is saved and a new  con-
       text is created by the kernel for the signal handler.  Do not leave the
       handler using longjmp(3): it is undefined what would happen  with  con-
       texts.  Use siglongjmp(3) or setcontext() instead.

SEE ALSO
       sigaction(2),   sigaltstack(2),  sigprocmask(2),  longjmp(3),  makecon-
       text(3), sigsetjmp(3)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.05 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/.



Linux                             2001-11-15                     GETCONTEXT(2)