CLOCK_NANOSLEEP(3P) POSIX Programmer's Manual CLOCK_NANOSLEEP(3P)PROLOG
This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux
implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding
Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may
not be implemented on Linux.
NAMEclock_nanosleep — high resolution sleep with specifiable clock
int clock_nanosleep(clockid_t clock_id, int flags,
const struct timespec *rqtp, struct timespec *rmtp);
If the flag TIMER_ABSTIME is not set in the flags argument, the
clock_nanosleep() function shall cause the current thread to be sus‐
pended from execution until either the time interval specified by the
rqtp argument has elapsed, or a signal is delivered to the calling
thread and its action is to invoke a signal-catching function, or the
process is terminated. The clock used to measure the time shall be the
clock specified by clock_id.
If the flag TIMER_ABSTIME is set in the flags argument, the
clock_nanosleep() function shall cause the current thread to be sus‐
pended from execution until either the time value of the clock speci‐
fied by clock_id reaches the absolute time specified by the rqtp argu‐
ment, or a signal is delivered to the calling thread and its action is
to invoke a signal-catching function, or the process is terminated.
If, at the time of the call, the time value specified by rqtp is less
than or equal to the time value of the specified clock, then
clock_nanosleep() shall return immediately and the calling process
shall not be suspended.
The suspension time caused by this function may be longer than
requested because the argument value is rounded up to an integer multi‐
ple of the sleep resolution, or because of the scheduling of other
activity by the system. But, except for the case of being interrupted
by a signal, the suspension time for the relative clock_nanosleep()
function (that is, with the TIMER_ABSTIME flag not set) shall not be
less than the time interval specified by rqtp, as measured by the cor‐
responding clock. The suspension for the absolute clock_nanosleep()
function (that is, with the TIMER_ABSTIME flag set) shall be in effect
at least until the value of the corresponding clock reaches the abso‐
lute time specified by rqtp, except for the case of being interrupted
by a signal.
The use of the clock_nanosleep() function shall have no effect on the
action or blockage of any signal.
The clock_nanosleep() function shall fail if the clock_id argument
refers to the CPU-time clock of the calling thread. It is unspecified
whether clock_id values of other CPU-time clocks are allowed.
If the clock_nanosleep() function returns because the requested time
has elapsed, its return value shall be zero.
If the clock_nanosleep() function returns because it has been inter‐
rupted by a signal, it shall return the corresponding error value. For
the relative clock_nanosleep() function, if the rmtp argument is non-
NULL, the timespec structure referenced by it shall be updated to con‐
tain the amount of time remaining in the interval (the requested time
minus the time actually slept). If the rmtp argument is NULL, the
remaining time is not returned. The absolute clock_nanosleep() function
has no effect on the structure referenced by rmtp.
If clock_nanosleep() fails, it shall return the corresponding error
The clock_nanosleep() function shall fail if:
EINTR The clock_nanosleep() function was interrupted by a signal.
EINVAL The rqtp argument specified a nanosecond value less than zero or
greater than or equal to 1000 million; or the TIMER_ABSTIME flag
was specified in flags and the rqtp argument is outside the
range for the clock specified by clock_id; or the clock_id argu‐
ment does not specify a known clock, or specifies the CPU-time
clock of the calling thread.
The clock_id argument specifies a clock for which
clock_nanosleep() is not supported, such as a CPU-time clock.
The following sections are informative.
Calling clock_nanosleep() with the value TIMER_ABSTIME not set in the
flags argument and with a clock_id of CLOCK_REALTIME is equivalent to
calling nanosleep() with the same rqtp and rmtp arguments.
The nanosleep() function specifies that the system-wide clock
CLOCK_REALTIME is used to measure the elapsed time for this time ser‐
vice. However, with the introduction of the monotonic clock CLOCK_MONO‐
TONIC a new relative sleep function is needed to allow an application
to take advantage of the special characteristics of this clock.
There are many applications in which a process needs to be suspended
and then activated multiple times in a periodic way; for example, to
poll the status of a non-interrupting device or to refresh a display
device. For these cases, it is known that precise periodic activation
cannot be achieved with a relative sleep() or nanosleep() function
call. Suppose, for example, a periodic process that is activated at
time T0, executes for a while, and then wants to suspend itself until
time T0+T, the period being T. If this process wants to use the
nanosleep() function, it must first call clock_gettime() to get the
current time, then calculate the difference between the current time
and T0+T and, finally, call nanosleep() using the computed interval.
However, the process could be preempted by a different process between
the two function calls, and in this case the interval computed would be
wrong; the process would wake up later than desired. This problem would
not occur with the absolute clock_nanosleep() function, since only one
function call would be necessary to suspend the process until the
desired time. In other cases, however, a relative sleep is needed, and
that is why both functionalities are required.
Although it is possible to implement periodic processes using the
timers interface, this implementation would require the use of signals,
and the reservation of some signal numbers. In this regard, the reasons
for including an absolute version of the clock_nanosleep() function in
POSIX.1‐2008 are the same as for the inclusion of the relative
It is also possible to implement precise periodic processes using
pthread_cond_timedwait(), in which an absolute timeout is specified
that takes effect if the condition variable involved is never signaled.
However, the use of this interface is unnatural, and involves perform‐
ing other operations on mutexes and condition variables that imply an
unnecessary overhead. Furthermore, pthread_cond_timedwait() is not
available in implementations that do not support threads.
Although the interface of the relative and absolute versions of the new
high resolution sleep service is the same clock_nanosleep() function,
the rmtp argument is only used in the relative sleep. This argument is
needed in the relative clock_nanosleep() function to reissue the func‐
tion call if it is interrupted by a signal, but it is not needed in the
absolute clock_nanosleep() function call; if the call is interrupted by
a signal, the absolute clock_nanosleep() function can be invoked again
with the same rqtp argument used in the interrupted call.
SEE ALSOclock_getres(), nanosleep(), pthread_cond_timedwait(), sleep()
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, <time.h>
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
-- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electri‐
cal and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is
POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the
event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
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