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Multithreaded Programming with PThreads

Lewis, Bill and Daniel J. Berg

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ISBN 10: 0136807291 / ISBN 13: 9780136807292
Published by Prentice Hall / Sun Microsystems Press, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1998
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Multithreaded Programming with PThreads

Publisher: Prentice Hall / Sun Microsystems Press, Upper Saddle River, NJ

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Quality Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: First Printing

About this title


This book will give the UNIX and NT programmer a solid, basic understanding of threads -- and the powerful new POSIX Pthreads library. The book begins with an overview of the need for, and evolution of multithreading. Understand how threads are constructed, and how operating systems like Solaris(r) provide support for them. Learn the fundamentals of thread scheduling and synchronization, understanding the trade-offs involved in using synchronization variables. Learn how to dispose of (cancel) unwanted threads; and manage asynchronous events via signaling. The book includes detailed coverage of writing and compiling multithreaded programs, including sample applications, libraries, design choices, performance optimization and hardware considerations. For all experienced C, UNIX and NT programmers who need to understand the new Pthreads library.


Multithreading lets programs do two or more tasks at once, and it can let programmers take advantage of the latest symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) systems in Unix. But to get this performance boost, you'll want to read Multithreaded Programming with Pthreads first. It delivers both the concepts behind multithreaded design along with real-world source code excerpts that show you how to apply the concepts to real-world Unix projects.

This book begins with the evolution of the various libraries that support multithreading. In the ecumenical spirit of Unix, the authors cover all the bases of Portable Operating System Interface for Unix (POSIX) libraries, including Linux, DEC, IBM, HP, and Sun Solaris, and even add-ons to NT and OS/2 for their POSIX support. The authors acknowledge that there may be variations in your version of Unix, but suggest that POSIX threads have good support from most vendors.

The authors then cover the basics of threads and how they run in today's Unix. The authors turn quickly to their implementation in variants of Unix, including Lightweight Processes (LWPs). They then cover the lifecycles of threads and how they are scheduled.

The primary focus in Multithreaded Programming with Pthreads is on how to make threads work together effectively. Multithreading involves a host of design issues, from patterns of how to organize threading in a program (with models such as the Producer/Consumer or the Master/Slave) to how to coordinate work done by multiple threads with facilities such as mutexes, critical sections, semaphores, and more arcane solutions (such as monitors and spin locks). The authors guide the reader to all the possibilities here, including suggestions on program design.

The real-world focus here involves some sample code (in C), a quick tour of the issues in using Pthreads with other programming languages, and some excellent material on benchmarking multithreaded code. The authors' ideas on when to use and when to avoid Pthreads are also useful. Though Pthreads will not work everywhere, they have a lot of potential to enhance the performance of today's software. This technical--and quite engaging--text can show you if Pthreads are in the cards for your next Unix programming project.

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