WAIT(3C) Standard C Library Functions WAIT(3C)


wait - wait for child process to stop or terminate


#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>

pid_t wait(int *stat_loc);


The wait() function will suspend execution of the calling thread until
status information for one of its terminated child processes is
available, or until delivery of a signal whose action is either to
execute a signal-catching function or to terminate the process. If more
than one thread is suspended in wait(), waitpid(3C), or waitid(2)
awaiting termination of the same process, exactly one thread will return
the process status at the time of the target process termination. If
status information is available prior to the call to wait(), return will
be immediate.

If wait() returns because the status of a child process is available, it
returns the process ID of the child process. If the calling process
specified a non-zero value for stat_loc, the status of the child process
is stored in the location pointed to by stat_loc. That status can be
evaluated with the macros described on the wait.h(3HEAD) manual page.

In the following, status is the object pointed to by stat_loc:

o If the child process terminated due to an _exit() call, the
low order 8 bits of status will be 0 and the high order 8 bits
will contain the low order 7 bits of the argument that the
child process passed to _exit(); see exit(2).

o If the child process terminated due to a signal, the high
order 8 bits of status will be 0 and the low order 7bits will
contain the number of the signal that caused the termination.
In addition, if WCOREFLG is set, a "core image" will have
been produced; see signal.h(3HEAD) and wait.h(3HEAD).

One instance of a SIGCHLD signal is queued for each child process whose
status has changed. If wait() returns because the status of a child
process is available, any pending SIGCHLD signal associated with the
process ID of that child process is discarded. Any other pending SIGCHLD
signals remain pending.

If the calling process has SA_NOCLDWAIT set or has SIGCHLD set to
SIG_IGN, and the process has no unwaited children that were transformed
into zombie processes, it will block until all of its children terminate,
and wait() will fail and set errno to ECHILD.

If a parent process terminates without waiting for its child processes to
terminate, the parent process ID of each child process is set to 1, with
the initialization process inheriting the child processes; see Intro(2).


When wait() returns due to a terminated child process, the process ID of
the child is returned to the calling process. Otherwise, -1 is returned
and errno is set to indicate the error.


The wait() function will fail if:

The calling process has no existing unwaited-for child

The function was interrupted by a signal.


Since wait() blocks on a stopped child, a calling process wanting to see
the return results of such a call should use waitpid(3C) or waitid(2)
instead of wait(). The wait() function is implemented as a call to
waitpid(-1, stat_loc, 0).


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

|Interface Stability | Standard |
|MT-Level | Async-Signal-Safe |


Intro(2), exec(2), exit(2), fork(2), pause(2), waitid(2), ptrace(3C),
signal(3C), signal.h(3HEAD), waitpid(3C), wait.h(3HEAD), attributes(5)

June 9, 2004 WAIT(3C)