semget - get a System V semaphore set identifier
The semget() system call returns the System V semaphore set identifier associated with the argument
key. A new set of
nsems semaphores is created if
key has the value IPC_PRIVATE or if no existing semaphore set is associated with
key and IPC_CREAT is specified in
semflg specifies both IPC_CREAT and IPC_EXCL and a semaphore set already exists for
key, then semget() fails with
errno set to EEXIST. (This is analogous to the effect of the combination O_CREAT | O_EXCL for open(2).)
Upon creation, the least significant 9 bits of the argument
semflg define the permissions (for owner, group and others) for the semaphore set. These bits have the same format, and the same meaning, as the
mode argument of open(2) (though the execute permissions are not meaningful for semaphores, and write permissions mean permission to alter semaphore values).
sem_perm.uidare set to the effective user ID of the calling process.
sem_perm.gidare set to the effective group ID of the calling process.
The least significant 9 bits of
sem_perm.modeare set to the least significant 9 bits of
sem_nsemsis set to the value of
sem_otimeis set to 0.
sem_ctimeis set to the current time.
nsems can be 0 (a don't care) when a semaphore set is not being created. Otherwise,
nsems must be greater than 0 and less than or equal to the maximum number of semaphores per semaphore set (SEMMSL).
If the semaphore set already exists, the permissions are verified.
If successful, the return value will be the semaphore set identifier (a nonnegative integer), otherwise, -1 is returned, with
errno indicating the error.
errno will be set to one of the following:
A semaphore set exists for
key, but the calling process does not have permission to access the set, and does not have the CAP_IPC_OWNER capability in the user namespace that governs its IPC namespace.
IPC_CREAT and IPC_EXCL were specified in
semflg, but a semaphore set already exists for
nsems is less than 0 or greater than the limit on the number of semaphores per semaphore set (SEMMSL).
A semaphore set corresponding to
key already exists, but
nsems is larger than the number of semaphores in that set.
No semaphore set exists for
semflg did not specify IPC_CREAT.
A semaphore set has to be created but the system does not have enough memory for the new data structure.
A semaphore set has to be created but the system limit for the maximum number of semaphore sets (SEMMNI), or the system wide maximum number of semaphores (SEMMNS), would be exceeded.
The inclusion of
<sys/ipc.h> isn't required on Linux or by any version of POSIX. However, some old implementations required the inclusion of these header files, and the SVID also documented their inclusion. Applications intended to be portable to such old systems may need to include these header files.
IPC_PRIVATE isn't a flag field but a
key_t type. If this special value is used for
key, the system call ignores all but the least significant 9 bits of
semflg and creates a new semaphore set (on success). The values of the semaphores in a newly created set are indeterminate. (POSIX.1-2001 and POSIX.1-2008 are explicit on this point, although POSIX.1-2008 notes that a future version of the standard may require an implementation to initialize the semaphores to 0.) Although Linux, like many other implementations, initializes the semaphore values to 0, a portable application cannot rely on this: it should explicitly initialize the semaphores to the desired values.
Initialization can be done using semctl(2) SETVAL or SETALL operation. Where multiple peers do not know who will be the first to initialize the set, checking for a nonzero
sem_otime in the associated data structure retrieved by a semctl(2) IPC_STAT operation can be used to avoid races. The following limits on semaphore set resources affect the semget() call:
System-wide limit on the number of semaphore sets. On Linux systems before version 3.19, the default value for this limit was 128. Since Linux 3.19, the default value is 32,000. On Linux, this limit can be read and modified via the fourth field of
Maximum number of semaphores per semaphore ID. On Linux systems before version 3.19, the default value for this limit was 250. Since Linux 3.19, the default value is 32,000. On Linux, this limit can be read and modified via the first field of
System-wide limit on the number of semaphores: policy dependent (on Linux, this limit can be read and modified via the second field of
/proc/sys/kernel/sem). Note that the number of semaphores system-wide is also limited by the product of SEMMSL and SEMMNI.
The name choice IPC_PRIVATE was perhaps unfortunate, IPC_NEW would more clearly show its function.
This page is part of release 4.15 of the Linux
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