Showing posts from April, 2013

Minimalistic Linux threading

Embedded system development always poses certain challenges and one of them is the threading support. Including POSIX threads (pthread) is not an option sometimes, but fortunately Linux kernel allows to make LWP (light-weight processes) which are similar to threads. The key function here is the clone function. fork internally uses clone too, but clone allows to create child processes with the different settings including CLONE_VM (share the memory between parent and children processes) which is essential for threading.

Without further ado let me give an example, and I'll describe key pieces below:

//Linux light-weight processes usage example
#define _GNU_SOURCE
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <sched.h>
#include <stdarg.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/syscall.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>

// Default thread number
#define THREAD_NUM 5

int message(const char *format, ...) {
    va_list arg_list;