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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  - WAIT (2)

NAME

wait, waitpid, wait4, wait3 - wait for process termination

CONTENTS

Library
Synopsis
Description
Notes
Return Values
Errors
See Also
Standards
History

LIBRARY


.Lb libc

SYNOPSIS


.In sys/types.h
.In sys/wait.h pid_t wait int *status
.In sys/time.h
.In sys/resource.h pid_t waitpid pid_t wpid int *status int options pid_t wait3 int *status int options struct rusage *rusage pid_t wait4 pid_t wpid int *status int options struct rusage *rusage

DESCRIPTION

The wait function suspends execution of its calling process until status information is available for a terminated child process, or a signal is received. On return from a successful wait call, the status area contains termination information about the process that exited as defined below.

The wait4 system call provides a more general interface for programs that need to wait for certain child processes, that need resource utilization statistics accumulated by child processes, or that require options. The other wait functions are implemented using wait4.

The wpid argument specifies the set of child processes for which to wait. If wpid is -1, the call waits for any child process. If wpid is 0, the call waits for any child process in the process group of the caller. If wpid is greater than zero, the call waits for the process with process id wpid. If wpid is less than -1, the call waits for any process whose process group id equals the absolute value of wpid.

The status argument is defined below. The options argument contains the bitwise OR of any of the following options. The WCONTINUED option indicates that children of the current process that have continued from a job control stop, by receiving a SIGCONT signal, should also have their status reported. The WNOHANG option is used to indicate that the call should not block if there are no processes that wish to report status. If the WUNTRACED option is set, children of the current process that are stopped due to a SIGTTIN, SIGTTOU, SIGTSTP, or SIGSTOP signal also have their status reported.

If rusage is non-zero, a summary of the resources used by the terminated process and all its children is returned (this information is currently not available for stopped processes).

When the WNOHANG option is specified and no processes wish to report status, wait4 returns a process id of 0.

The waitpid function is identical to wait4 with an rusage value of zero. The older wait3 call is the same as wait4 with a wpid value of -1.

The following macros may be used to test the manner of exit of the process. One of the first three macros will evaluate to a non-zero (true) value:
WIFCONTINUED status
  True if the process has not terminated, and has continued after a job control stop. This macro can be true only if the wait call specified the WCONTINUED option).
WIFEXITED status
  True if the process terminated normally by a call to _exit(2) or exit(3).
WIFSIGNALED status
  True if the process terminated due to receipt of a signal.
WIFSTOPPED status
  True if the process has not terminated, but has stopped and can be restarted. This macro can be true only if the wait call specified the WUNTRACED option or if the child process is being traced (see ptrace(2)).

Depending on the values of those macros, the following macros produce the remaining status information about the child process:
WEXITSTATUS status
  If WIFEXITED status is true, evaluates to the low-order 8 bits of the argument passed to _exit(2) or exit(3) by the child.
WTERMSIG status
  If WIFSIGNALED status is true, evaluates to the number of the signal that caused the termination of the process.
WCOREDUMP status
  If WIFSIGNALED status is true, evaluates as true if the termination of the process was accompanied by the creation of a core file containing an image of the process when the signal was received.
WSTOPSIG status
  If WIFSTOPPED status is true, evaluates to the number of the signal that caused the process to stop.

NOTES

See sigaction(2) for a list of termination signals. A status of 0 indicates normal termination.

If a parent process terminates without waiting for all of its child processes to terminate, the remaining child processes are assigned the parent process 1 ID (the init process ID).

If a signal is caught while any of the wait calls are pending, the call may be interrupted or restarted when the signal-catching routine returns, depending on the options in effect for the signal; see intro(2), System call restart.

RETURN VALUES

If wait returns due to a stopped or terminated child process, the process ID of the child is returned to the calling process. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.

If wait4, wait3, or waitpid returns due to a stopped or terminated child process, the process ID of the child is returned to the calling process. If there are no children not previously awaited, -1 is returned with errno set to ECHILD. Otherwise, if WNOHANG is specified and there are no stopped or exited children, 0 is returned. If an error is detected or a caught signal aborts the call, a value of -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.

ERRORS

The wait function will fail and return immediately if:
[ECHILD]
  The calling process has no existing unwaited-for child processes.
[ECHILD]
  No status from the terminated child process is available because the calling process has asked the system to discard such status by ignoring the signal SIGCHLD or setting the flag SA_NOCLDWAIT for that signal.
[EFAULT]
  The status or rusage argument points to an illegal address. (May not be detected before exit of a child process.)
[EINTR]
  The call was interrupted by a caught signal, or the signal did not have the SA_RESTART flag set.

SEE ALSO

_exit(2), ptrace(2), sigaction(2), exit(3)

STANDARDS

The wait and waitpid functions are defined by POSIX; wait4 and wait3 are not specified by POSIX. The WCOREDUMP macro and the ability to restart a pending wait call are extensions to the POSIX interface.

HISTORY

The wait function appeared in AT&T v6 .
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April 19, 1994 WAIT (2)

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