SIGNAL(3) System Calls SIGNAL(3)
signal - simplified software signal facilities
void (*signal (int sig, void (*func)(int, int)))(int, int);
or in GNO's equivalent but easier to read typedef'd version:
typedef void (*sig_t) (int, int)
sig_t signal(int sig, sig_t func);
Signals allow the manipulation of a process from outside its domain as
well as allowing the process to manipulate itself or copies of itself
(children). There are two general types of signals: those that cause
termination of a process and those that do not. Signals which cause
termination of a program might result from an irrecoverable error or
might be the result of a user at a terminal typing the 'interrupt'
character. Signals are used when a process is stopped because it
wishes to access its control terminal while in the background (see
tty(4)). Signals are optionally generated when a process resumes after
being stopped, when the status of child processes changes, or when
input is ready at the control terminal.
Most signals result in the termination of the process receiving them if
no action is taken; some signals instead cause the process receiving
them to be stopped, or are simply discarded if the process has not
requested otherwise. The signal function allows for a signal to be
caught, to be ignored, or to generate an interrupt, except for SIGCONT
(which cannot be blocked), and SIGKILL and SIGSTOP (which cannot be
caught, blocked, or ignored).
These signals are defined in the file <signal.h>:
Name Default Action Description
SIGHUP termination terminal line hangup
SIGINT termination interrupt program
SIGQUIT termination quit program
SIGILL termination illegal instruction
SIGTRAP termination trace trap
SIGABRT termination abort (generated by abort(3))
SIGEMT termination emulator trap
SIGFPE termination arithmetic exception
SIGKILL termination kill program
SIGBUS termination bus error
SIGSEGV termination segmentation fault
SIGSYS termination bad argument to system call
SIGPIPE termination write on a socket with no readers
SIGALRM termination real-time timer expired
SIGTERM termination software termination
SIGURG discarded urgent condition present on socket
SIGSTOP stop stop
SIGTSTP stop stop signal from keyboard
SIGCONT discarded continue after stop
SIGCHLD discarded child status has changed
SIGCLD discarded SYSV name for SIGCHLD
SIGTTIN stop background read attempted
SIGTTOU stop background write attempted
SIGIO discarded input/output possible on a file descriptor
SIGPOLL discarded SYSV name for SIGIO
SIGXCPU termination exceeded CPU time limit
SIGUSR1 termination user defined signal 1
SIGUSR2 termination user defined signal 2
The func procedure allows a user to choose the action upon receipt of a
signal. To set the default action of the signal to occur as listed
above, func should be SIG_DFL. A SIG_DFL resets the default action.
To ignore the signal func should be SIG_IGN. This will cause subse-
quent instances of the signal to be ignored and pending instances to be
discarded. If SIG_IGN is not used, further occurrences of the signal
are automatically blocked and func is called.
The handled signal is unblocked with the function returns and the pro-
cess continues from where it left off when the signal occurred. Unlike
previous Unix signal facilities, the handler func() remains installed
after a signal has been delivered. This behavior remains unchanged
from GNO v2.0.4.
For some system calls, if a signal is caught while the call is execut-
ing and the call is prematurely terminated, the call is automatically
restarted. The affected system calls include read(2), write(2),
sendto(2), recvfrom(2), sendmsg(2) and recvmsg(2) on a communications
channel or a low speed device and during a ioctl(2) or wait(2). How-
ever, calls that have already committed are not restarted, but instead
return a partial success (for example, a short read count).
When a process which has installed signal handlers forks, the child
process inherits the signals. All caught signals will be reset to
their default action by a call to one of the execve(2) family of func-
tions; ignored signals remain ignored.
As can be surmised from the prototype above, func should be defined as
void func(int sig, int code)
sig is the signal that will invoke the handler, and code is additional
information about the interrupt condition. Currently, code is always
zero. The handler should probably also be compiled using the #pragma
databank 1 directive, in the event func is not in the same bank as the
C global data segment (func is called with the data bank equal to the
ORCA/C already provides a signal function, but it doesn't do very much.
GNO's <signal.h> file replaces the one that comes with ORCA/C.
The previous action is returned on a successful call. Otherwise, -1 is
returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.
Signal will fail and no action will take place if one of the following
EINVAL Sig is not a valid signal number.
EINVAL An attempt is made to ignore or supply a handler for
SIGKILL or SIGSTOP.
EINVAL An attempt is made to ignore SIGCONT (by default SIGCONT
kill(1), execve(2), fork(2), kill(2), sigblock(2), sigsetmask(2),
A signal facility appeared in 4.0BSD.
GNO 19 January 1997 SIGNAL(3)
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