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File Date Author Commit
tests 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
ANNOUNCE 2000-09-07 rpj rpj [199d96] 2000-09-08 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
CONTRIBUTORS 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
COPYING.LIB 1998-10-02 bje bje [74a43f] 1998-10-02 Ben Elliston <bje@cygnus.com>
ChangeLog 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
FAQ 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
GNUmakefile 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
MAINTAINERS 1999-08-12 rpj rpj [9af51e] Merged patches to main trunk.
Makefile 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
Makefile.in 2000-01-04 rpj rpj [a378d9] Main changes (see ChangeLog diff for details an...
Makefile.vc 2000-01-07 rpj rpj [5cdc41] Minor changes.
NEWS 2000-08-15 rpj rpj [b05acb] New file to contain brief descriptions of chang...
PROGRESS 2000-02-04 rpj rpj [20aff4] Minor admin changes.
README 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
README.WinCE 2000-07-25 rpj rpj [e2fd6e] 2000-07-25 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
TODO 2000-07-25 rpj rpj [e2fd6e] 2000-07-25 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
WinCE-PORT 2000-08-17 rpj rpj [a366b6] 2000-08-17 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
acconfig.h 1999-08-19 rpj rpj [5e87a0] 1999-08-19 Ross Johnson <rpj@ixobrychus.canbe...
attr.c 2000-08-18 rpj rpj [11eb4d] 2000-08-18 Ross Johnson <rpj@setup1.ise.canbe...
cancel.c 2000-09-07 rpj rpj [199d96] 2000-09-08 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
cleanup.c 2000-08-18 rpj rpj [11eb4d] 2000-08-18 Ross Johnson <rpj@setup1.ise.canbe...
condvar.c 2000-09-02 rpj rpj [69b6d5] 2000-09-02 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
config.guess 1998-09-13 bje bje [8b3277] 1998-09-13 Ben Elliston <bje@cygnus.com>
config.h 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
config.h.in 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
config.sub 1998-09-13 bje bje [8b3277] 1998-09-13 Ben Elliston <bje@cygnus.com>
configure 1999-10-16 rpj rpj [8c2385] 1999-10-17 Ross Johnson <rpj@ixobrychus.canbe...
configure.in 2000-01-04 rpj rpj [a378d9] Main changes (see ChangeLog diff for details an...
create.c 2000-08-17 rpj rpj [a366b6] 2000-08-17 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
dll.c 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
errno.c 2000-08-14 rpj rpj [16cb1b] 2000-08-13 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
exit.c 2000-08-18 rpj rpj [11eb4d] 2000-08-18 Ross Johnson <rpj@setup1.ise.canbe...
fork.c 1999-03-16 rpj rpj [c5573b] Tue Mar 16 1999 Ross Johnson <rpj@ixobrychus...
global.c 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
implement.h 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
install-sh 1998-09-13 bje bje [8b3277] 1998-09-13 Ben Elliston <bje@cygnus.com>
misc.c 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [bab189] 2000-10-10 Ross Johnson <rpj@setup1.ise.canbe...
mutex.c 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
need_errno.h 2000-08-14 rpj rpj [16cb1b] 2000-08-13 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
nonportable.c 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
private.c 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
pthread.def 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [c94735] ./ChangeLog:
pthread.h 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
rwlock.c 2000-09-02 rpj rpj [54286b] 2000-09-02 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
sched.c 2000-08-18 rpj rpj [11eb4d] 2000-08-18 Ross Johnson <rpj@setup1.ise.canbe...
sched.h 1999-11-04 rpj rpj [7fdb90] 1999-11-05 Ross Johnson <rpj@ixobrychus.canbe...
semaphore.c 2000-09-02 rpj rpj [69b6d5] 2000-09-02 Ross Johnson <rpj@special.ise.canb...
semaphore.h 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
signal.c 2000-12-28 rpj rpj [bab189] 2000-10-10 Ross Johnson <rpj@setup1.ise.canbe...
sync.c 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:
tsd.c 2000-12-29 rpj rpj [0c2cb3] ./ChangeLog:

Read Me


Pthreads-win32 is free software, distributed under the GNU Library
General Public License (LGPL). See the file 'COPYING.LIB' for terms
and conditions.

What is it?

Pthreads-win32 is an Open Source Software (OSS) implementation of the
Threads component of the POSIX 1003.1c 1995 Standard for Microsoft's
Win32 environment. Some functions from POSIX 1003.1b are also
supported including semaphores. Other related functions include
the set of read-write lock functions.

See the file "ANNOUNCE" for more information including standards
conformance details and list of supported routines.

Library naming

Because the library is being built using various exception
handling schemes and compilers - and because the library
will not work reliably if these are mixed in an application,
each different version of the library has it's own name.

In general:

	[VG] indicates the compiler
	V	- MS VC++
	G	- GNU G++

	[SC] indicates the exception handling scheme
	S	- Structured EH
	C	- C++ EH

For example:
	pthreadVSE.dll	(VC++/SEH)
	pthreadGCE.dll	(G++/C++ EH)

The GNU library archive file name has changed to:

	libpthreadw32.a	(the "32" is now "w32")

Other name changes

All snapshots prior to and including snapshot 2000-08-13
used "_pthread_" as the prefix to library internal
functions, and "_PTHREAD_" to many library internal
macros. These have now been changed to "ptw32_" and "PTW32_"
respectively so as to not conflict with the ANSI standard's
reservation of identifiers beginning with "_" and "__" for
use by compiler implementations only.

If you have written any applications and you are linking
statically with the pthreads-win32 library then you may have
included a call to _pthread_processInitialize. You will
now have to change that to ptw32_processInitialize.

Known bugs in this snapshot

1. Asynchronous cancelation only works on Intel X86 machines.


1. Due to what is believed to be C++ compliance error in VC++,
if your application contains catch(...) blocks in your POSIX threads
then you will need to replace the "catch(...)" with the macro
"PtW32Catch", eg.

	#ifdef PtW32Catch
		PtW32Catch {
		catch(...) {

Otherwise neither pthreads cancelation nor pthread_exit() will work

Non-portable functions included in the library

pthread_mutexattr_setforcecs_np(pthread_mutexattr_t *attr,
				int forcecs);

	Allows an application to force the library to use
	critical sections rather than win32 mutexes as
	the basis for any mutex that uses "attr".
	Critical sections are significantly faster than

	Values for "forcecs" are:
		- allow the library to decide based on
		  availability of tryEnterCriticalSection().
		  The library determines this at runtime
		  and will use critical sections whenever
		  tryEnterCriticalSection() is available.
		- force use of critical sections even if
		  tryEnterCriticalSection() isn't provided
		  by the system, but you'd better not try
		  to use pthread_mutex_trylock() on any
		  mutex that uses "attr" if you want your
		  application to work on all versions of

pthread_getw32threadhandle_np(pthread_t thread);

	Returns the win32 thread handle that the POSIX
	thread "thread" is running as.

	Applications can use the win32 handle to set
	win32 specific attributes of the thread.

pthread_delay_np (const struct timespec *interval);

        This routine causes a thread to delay execution for a specific period of time.
        This period ends at the current time plus the specified interval. The routine
        will not return before the end of the period is reached, but may return an
        arbitrary amount of time after the period has gone by. This can be due to
        system load, thread priorities, and system timer granularity.

        Specifying an interval of zero (0) seconds and zero (0) nanoseconds is
        allowed and can be used to force the thread to give up the processor or to
        deliver a pending cancelation request.

        This routine is a cancelation point.

        The timespec structure contains the following two fields:

                tv_sec is an integer number of seconds.
                tv_nsec is an integer number of nanoseconds. 

        Return Values

        If an error condition occurs, this routine returns an integer value
        indicating the type of error. Possible return values are as follows:

        0          Successful completion. 
        [EINVAL]   The value specified by interval is invalid. 

pthreadCancelableWait (HANDLE waitHandle);

pthreadCancelableTimedWait (HANDLE waitHandle, DWORD timeout);

	These two functions provide hooks into the pthread_cancel
	mechanism that will allow you to wait on a Windows handle
	and make it a cancellation point. Both functions block
	until either the given w32 handle is signaled, or
	pthread_cancel has been called. It is implemented using
	WaitForMultipleObjects on 'waitHandle' and a manually
	reset w32 event used to implement pthread_cancel.

Building under VC++ using either C++ EH or Structured EH

From the source directory run one of the following:

nmake clean VCE	(builds the VC++ C++ EH version pthreadVCE.dll)


nmake clean VSE	(builds the VC++ structured EH version pthreadVSE.dll)

You can run the testsuite by changing to the "tests" directory and
running the target corresponding to the DLL version you built:

nmake clean VCE


nmake clean VSE

Building under Mingw32

The dll can be built with Mingw32 gcc-2.95.2-1 after you've
made the changes to Mingw32 desribed in Question 6 of the FAQ.
Hopefully versions after gcc-2.95.2-1 won't require the fix.

Run "make" in the source directory (uses GNUmakefile). This builds
pthreadGCE.dll and libpthreadw32.a.

You can run the testsuite by changing to the "tests" directory and
running "make clean" and then "make".

Building the library under Cygwin

Not tested by me although I think some people have done this.
Not sure how successfully though.

Cygwin is implementing it's own POSIX threads routines and these
will be the ones to use if you develop using Cygwin.

Ready to run binaries

For convenience, the following ready-to-run files can be downloaded
from the FTP site (see under "Availability" below):

	pthreadVCE.dll	- built with MSVC++ compiler using C++ EH
	pthreadVSE.dll	- built with MSVC++ compiler using SEH
	pthreadGCE.dll	- built with Mingw32 G++ (see "Known Bugs")
	libpthreadw32.a	- derived from pthreadGCE.dll

Building applications with the library

Use the appropriate DLL and LIB files to match the exception handing
that you use in your application, or specifically, in your POSIX
threads. Don't mix them or neither thread cancelation nor
pthread_exit() will work reliably if at all.

Building applications with GNU compilers

[Please see the section on Known Bugs above and the section
dealing with building the library with Mingw32 before
you build applications using the GNU compilers. Please also
note that the pre-built pthreadGCE.dll is currently only
a copy of the dll built by MSVC++. Note that VC++ and
GNU exception handling is implemented completely differently
and so automatic cleanup of objects and the propagation of
exceptions themselves between the two schemes is not
going to happen. You'll need to wait for the version of
pthreadGCE.dll built be G++ itself which still has problems.]

Use gcc-2.95.2 or later.

With pthreadGCE.dll and libpthreadw32.a in the same directory as your
application myapp.c, you could compile, link and run myapp.c under
Mingw32 as follows:

	gcc -x c++ -o myapp.exe myapp.c -I. -L. -lpthreadw32

Or put pthreadGCE.dll in an appropriate directory in your PATH,
put libpthread32.a in MINGW_ROOT\i386-mingw32\lib, and
put pthread.h in MINGW_ROOT\i386-mingw32\include, then use:

	gcc -x c++ -o myapp.exe myapp.c -lpthreadw32


The complete source code in either unbundled, self-extracting
Zip file, or tar/gzipped format can be found at:


The pre-built DLL, export libraries and matching pthread.h can
be found at:


Home page:


Mailing list

There is a mailing list for discussing pthreads on Win32.
To join, send email to:


Unsubscribe by sending mail to:



Pthreads-win32 is based substantially on a Win32 Pthreads
implementation contributed by John E. Bossom <jebossom@cognos.com>.
Many others have contributed important new code and bug fixes.

See the 'CONTRIBUTORS' file for the list of contributors.

Ross Johnson