Locksmith is a library for debugging locking in C, C++, or Objective C programs.
It's designed to catch common locking errors at runtime that might otherwise lead to deadlocks or crashes. Locksmith is built on top of pthreads.
How do I build the source code?
./configure make sudo make install
How to use Locksmith
Using locksmith is simple. You do not need to recompile your program. Just run your program with the LD_PRELOAD environment variable set to the locksmith library. For example,
LKSMITH_LOG=syslog LD_PRELOAD=/path/to/liblksmith.so /bin/ls
What kinds of errors does Locksmith catch?
Locking inversions. For example, if one thread locks mutex A and then tries to lock mutex B, and another thread locks mutex B and then tries to locks mutex A.
Freeing a mutex, spinlock, or condition variable that you currently hold. In the pthreads library, freeing a mutex, spinlock, or condition variable that you currently hold can cause undefined behavior. You must release it first. Locksmith issues an error message in this case.
Unlocking a mutex from a different thread than the one which locked it. This is another scenario which triggers undefined behavior in pthreads, but which Locksmith turns into a hard error.
Calling pthread_cond_wait on something that isn't a mutex locked by the current thread.
Simultaneously calling pthread_cond_wait on the same condition variable using different mutexes.
What choices are available for LKSMITH_LOG?
This will redirect all output to syslog.
This will redirect all output to standard error.
This will redirect all output to standard output.
This will redirect all output to /tmp/foo. Substitute your own file name as appropriate.
What languages and libraries is Locksmith compatible with?
Locksmith should be compatible with every library built on top of pthreads in C or C++. This includes boost::mutex, KDE's QMutex, glib's Glib::Mutex, and so forth. Locksmith has no problems with global constructors or destructors in C++. Locksmith also works with mutexes that have been initialized statically with PTHREAD_MUTEX_INITIALIZER. Finally, Locksmith handles pthreads mutexes created and used in a shared library independent of the main executable.
What license is Locksmith under?
Locksmith is released under the 2-clause BSD license. See LICENSE.txt for details.
- Expose the lock APIs to client code. This will make Locksmith usable in code that implements its own locking primitives.
- Support pthread rwlocks
- Support pthread barriers
- Add the ability to dump out debugging information about the state of all locks on command.
- Support thread cancellation (?)
- Support POSIX semaphores
- Add a way to suppress deadlock warnings through the use of compile-time annotations.
- Add the ability to name mutexes and threads through the use of compile-time annotations.
- Better support for debugging cross-process mutexes and spin-locks (perhaps by putting Locksmith globals into a shared memory segment?) This is tricky because cross-process locks won't have the same memory address in different processes.
Colin Patrick McCabe firstname.lastname@example.org