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bug#14640: SA_RESTART prevents execution of signal handlers

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: bug#14640: SA_RESTART prevents execution of signal handlers
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:46:37 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Andy Wingo <address@hidden> skribis:

> On Tue 21 Jun 2016 09:48, address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:
>> Andy Wingo <address@hidden> skribis:
>>> On Mon 17 Jun 2013 15:54, address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:
>>>> When using SA_RESTART, signal handlers are never executed, as in this
>>>> example (checked on 2.0.9+):
>>>> (sigaction SIGALRM
>>>>   (lambda (signum)
>>>>     (pk 'sig signum))
>>>>   SA_RESTART)
>>>> (alarm 3)
>>>> (pk 'char (read-char))
>>>> Presumably this is because the read(2) syscall is automatically
>>>> restarted, leaving no chance for the handler async to run.
>>> Thinking about this a bit -- since we always handle signals
>>> asynchronously and have no intention of handling them synchronously,
>>> then we just have to document this behavior.  Done in e877e1b:
>> I think it’s problematic though.  With the current design, signal
>> delivery is unreliable (with or without SA_RESTART; what we observe with
>> SA_RESTART occurs similarly if you make a syscall right after queuing,
>> but not running, an async.)
> Can you expect any kind of reasonable behavior with SA_RESTART?  I think
> not.

In C it does its job: signal handlers run, and other parts of the code
don’t notice the interruption.  Here it’s useless.

>> The more I think about it, the more I think a different approach is
>> needed.  On GNU/Linux, signalfd(2) may be part of the solution.
> We already do the equivalent of signalfd(), with our self-pipe trick.

Hmm, I wonder if it’s really equivalent.

Also, it is internal: the Scheme level cannot explicitly “convert”
signals to FDs; all it gets is those asyncs.

> And an fd doesn't help you if the syscall has no associated fd.

But those typically don’t block.

> If you are just concerned about read and write, I think the right thing
> is non-blocking fd's, and making the C read/write waiters also add the
> signal FD to their poll set.  WDYT?

There’s also ‘select’.  In the case of the Shepherd, you’re in a
‘select’ loop, waiting for events from file descriptors *and* waiting
for SIGCHLD.  However, the SIGCHLD handler can end up running long after
the fact.  In this case, it would help to explicitly use use ‘signalfd’
at the Scheme level (whether it’s used internally in libguile doesn’t

Not sure I follow your suggestion.  My naïve view is that one would
probably expect/want signals to behave “like in C”, meaning that
handlers would run in a timely fashion once the signal has effectively
been received by libguile.

Thanks for your feedback!


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