pthread_rwlock_wrlock, pthread_rwlock_trywrlock -- acquire a read-write lock in write mode


   cc [options] -Kthread file

#include <pthread.h>

int pthread_rwlock_wrlock(pthread_rwlock_t *rwlock);

int pthread_rwlock_trywrlock(pthread_rwlock_t *rwlock);


pthread_rwlock_wrlock acquires the read-write lock pointed to by lock in write mode.

The calling thread acquires the write lock if no other thread (reader or writer) holds the read-write lock rwlock. Otherwise, the thread blocks (that is, does not return from the pthread_rwlock_wrlock call) until it can acquire the lock.

Deadlock will occur if the calling thread holds the read-write lock (whether a read or write lock) at the time the call is made.

If the lock is held by any readers when pthread_rwlock_wrlock is called, and no writer is waiting for the lock, the caller blocks until all the current readers have released the lock. If the lock is held by another writer, or if there are any other writers already waiting for the lock, the caller blocks to wait for the lock.

From the point of view of the application, this function is atomic: even if interrupted by a signal or forkall, pthread_rwlock_wrlock will not return until it holds the lock. As a consequence, if pthread_rwlock_wrlock is interrupted, an error indication such as EINTR is never returned to the user.

pthread_rwlock_trywrlock is used when the caller does not want to block if the lock is unavailable. It makes a single attempt to acquire the reader-writer lock pointed to by rwlock in write mode; it does not block the caller if the lock is unavailable.

If the lock is free, pthread_rwlock_trywrlock acquires the lock in write mode and the caller proceeds. If the lock is currently held, pthread_rwlock_trywrlock immediately returns EBUSY to the caller, without acquiring the lock.

Results are undefined if any of these functions are called with an uninitialized read-write lock.

Only one writer at a time can hold a reader-writer lock, although any number of readers can hold the lock at any time. Once a writer has requested the lock with pthread_rwlock_wrlock, all subsequent requests for the lock in either read or write mode are blocked.

For consistency, locks acquired with pthread_rwlock_wrlock or pthread_rwlock_trywrlock should be released with pthread_rwlock_unlock.

Return values

pthread_rwlock_wrlock and pthread_rwlock_trywrlock return zero on success. Otherwise, an error number is returned.


pthread_rwlock_wrlock and pthread_rwlock_trywrlock return the following values if the corresponding conditions are detected:

The value specified by rwlock does not refer to an initialized read-write lock object.

pthread_rwlock_wrlock returns the following value if the corresponding condition is detected:

Insufficient memory.

pthread_rwlock_trywrlock returns the following value if the corresponding condition is detected:

The reader-writer lock pointed to by rwlock cannot be acquired.


If a thread exits while holding a reader-writer lock, the lock will not be unlocked, and other threads waiting for the lock will wait forever.

Standards compliance

The Single UNIX Specification, Version 2; The Open Group.


Intro(3pthread), pthread(4), pthread_rwlockattr_init(3pthread), pthread_rwlock_destroy(3pthread), pthread_rwlock_init(3pthread), pthread_rwlock_rdlock(3pthread), pthread_rwlock_unlock(3pthread)


Realtime applications may encounter priority inversion when using read-write locks. The problem occurs when a high priority thread ``locks'' a read-write lock that is about to be ``unlocked'' by a low priority thread, but the low priority thread is preempted by a medium priority thread. This scenario leads to priority inversion; a high priority thread is blocked by lower priority threads for an unlimited period of time. During system design, realtime programmers must take into account the possibility of this kind of priority inversion. They can deal with it in a number of ways, such as by having critical sections that are guarded by read-write locks execute at a high priority, so that a thread cannot be preempted while executing in its critical section.
© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 25 April 2004