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SubjectNPTL mutex and the scheduling priority
# This is a copy of message posted libc-alpha ML.  I want to hear from
# kernel people too ...

Hi. I found that it seems NPTL's mutex does not follow the scheduling
parameter. If some threads were blocked by getting a single
mutex_lock, I expect that a thread with highest priority got the lock
first, but current NPTL's behaviour is different.

Here is a sample program. This creates four FIFO-class thread with
different priorities and these threads try to get a same mutex.

--- foo.c ---
#include <stdio.h>
#include <pthread.h>
#include <time.h>

static pthread_mutex_t mutex;
static volatile int val;

static void *thread_func(void *arg)
int v;
v = val++;
printf("thread-%ld got %d\n", (long)arg, v);
return NULL;

int main(int argc, char **argv)
struct sched_param param;
struct timespec ts;
pthread_t tid[4];
pthread_attr_t attr;
int i;

#if 0
int policy;
pthread_getschedparam(pthread_self(), &policy, &param);
policy = SCHED_FIFO;
param.sched_priority = 99;
pthread_setschedparam(pthread_self(), policy, &param);

pthread_mutex_init(&mutex, NULL);
pthread_attr_setschedpolicy(&attr, SCHED_FIFO);
pthread_attr_getschedparam(&attr, &param);
pthread_attr_setinheritsched(&attr, PTHREAD_EXPLICIT_SCHED);
for (i = 0; i < sizeof(tid) / sizeof(tid[0]); i++) {
param.sched_priority = 50 + i * 10;
pthread_attr_setschedparam(&attr, &param);
pthread_create(&tid[i], &attr, thread_func, (void *)i);
printf("thread-%d pri %d\n", i, param.sched_priority);

ts.tv_sec = 3;
ts.tv_nsec = 0;
nanosleep(&ts, NULL);


for (i = 0; i < sizeof(tid) / sizeof(tid[0]); i++)
pthread_join(tid[i], NULL);
return 0;
--- foo.c ---

I thought a thread with highest priority (thread-3) will get the
mutex first, so I expected:

thread-0 pri 50
thread-1 pri 60
thread-2 pri 70
thread-3 pri 80
thread-3 got 1
thread-2 got 2
thread-1 got 3
thread-0 got 4

but with NPTL (glibc 2.4, kernel 2.6.16, mips/i386) I got:

thread-0 pri 50
thread-1 pri 60
thread-2 pri 70
thread-3 pri 80
thread-3 got 4
thread-2 got 3
thread-1 got 2
thread-0 got 1

I can get the expected result with linuxthreads (glibc 2.3.6).

I also found that I can get expected result with NPTL if I enabled the
"#if 0" block in the sample program.

Is this glibc/NPTL issue, or kernel/futex issue? (or my expectation
is wrong?)

Atsushi Nemoto
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