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From thomas bonfort <>
Subject cross-process and cross-thread file locking
Date Thu, 29 Sep 2011 14:54:40 GMT
Hi all, sorry in advance if this is a dumb question.

The apr documentation for apr_file_lock states "Locks are established
on a per-thread/process basis; a second lock by the same thread will
not block." but this is not the behavior I am seeing. As apr_file_lock
on unix uses fcntl by default, a second lock by another thread of the
same process will not lock either.

I was using apr_file_lock as I need all my httpd threads/process to be
synchronized on an named ressource, and chose to create a lockfile
who's filename matches my named ressource. This does not work as with
a multi-threaded mpm the threads of the same process that created the
lockfile will not block on the call to apr_file_lock call.

>From my readings, it seems that file locking is a hazardous task to
get right, so what are my options to attain my goal:

- use my own implementation mimicking apr_file_lock, but that
unconditionnaly uses flock() instead of fcntl() ? I suspect that this
would not be a safe solution as some platforms fall back to fcntl for
- I tried using a posix semaphore which worked quite well, except in
the cases where either the process crashed or was terminated by httpd
because of a Timeout, and in that case the semaphore is never released
until a server reboot or manually messing in /dev/shm. If I attach a
cleanup call to the request pool, will it be called in the case where
the process is terminated after the Timeout delay ?

thank you for reading up to here,


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