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Engineering LibreTexts

9.1: Creating threads

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  • The most popular threading standard used with C is POSIX Threads, or Pthreads for short. The POSIX standard defines a thread model and an interface for creating and controlling threads. Most versions of UNIX provide an implementation of Pthreads.

    Using Pthreads is like using most C libraries:

    • You include headers files at the beginning of your program.
    • You write code that calls functions defined by Pthreads.
    • When you compile the program, you link it with the Pthread library.

    For my examples, I include the following headers:

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <pthread.h>
    #include <semaphore.h>

    The first two are standard; the third is for Pthreads and the fourth is for semaphores. To compile with the Pthread library in gcc, you can use the -l option on the command line:

    gcc -g -O2 -o array array.c -lpthread

    This compiles a source file named array.c with debugging info and optimization, links with the Pthread library, and generates an executable named array.

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