Scheduling policies

To meet the needs of various applications, QNX Neutrino provides these scheduling policies:

Note: Another scheduling policy (called "other"SCHED_OTHER) behaves in the same way as round-robin. We don't recommend using the "other" scheduling policy, because its behavior may change in the future.

Each thread in the system may run using any method. Scheduling methods are effective on a per-thread basis, not on a global basis for all threads and processes on a node.

Remember that these scheduling policies apply only when two or more threads that share the same priority are READY (i.e., the threads are directly competing with each other). If a higher-priority thread becomes READY, it immediately preempts all lower-priority threads.

In the following diagram, three threads of equal priority are READY. If Thread A blocks, Thread B will run.

Figure 1. Thread A blocks; Thread B runs.

A thread can call pthread_attr_setschedparam() or pthread_attr_setschedpolicy() to set the scheduling parameters and policy to use for any threads that it creates.

Although a thread gets its initial priority and scheduling policy from its parent thread (usually by inheritance), the thread can call pthread_setschedparam() to request to change the algorithm and priority applied by the kernel, or pthread_setschedprio() to change just the priority. A thread can get information about its current algorithm and policy by calling pthread_getschedparam(). Both these functions take a thread ID as their first argument; you can call pthread_self() to get the calling thread's ID. For example:

struct sched_param param;
int policy, retcode;

/* Get the scheduling parameters. */

retcode = pthread_getschedparam( pthread_self(), &policy, &param);
if (retcode != EOK) {
    printf ("pthread_getschedparam: %s.\n", strerror (retcode));
    return EXIT_FAILURE;

printf ("The assigned priority is %d, and the current priority is %d.\n",
        param.sched_priority, param.sched_curpriority);

/* Increase the priority. */


/* Set the scheduling algorithm to FIFO */

policy = SCHED_FIFO;

retcode = pthread_setschedparam( pthread_self(), policy, &param);
if (retcode != EOK) {
    printf ("pthread_setschedparam: %s.\n", strerror (retcode));
    return EXIT_FAILURE;

When you get the scheduling parameters, the sched_priority member of the sched_param structure is set to the assigned priority, and the sched_curpriority member is set to the priority that the thread is currently running at (which could be different because of priority inheritance).

Our libraries provide a number of ways to get and set scheduling parameters:

pthread_getschedparam(), pthread_setschedparam(), pthread_setschedprio()
These are your best choice for portability.
SchedGet(), SchedSet()
You can use these to get and set the scheduling priority and policy, but they aren't portable because they're kernel calls.
sched_getparam(), sched_setparam(), sched_getscheduler(), and sched_setscheduler()
These functions are intended for use in single-threaded processes.
Note: Our implementations of these functions don't conform completely to POSIX. In multi-threaded applications, they get or set the parameters for thread 1 in the process pid, or for the calling thread if pid is 0. If you depend on this behavior, your code won't be portable. POSIX 1003.1 says these functions should return -1 and set errno to EPERM in a multi-threaded application.
getprio(), setprio()
The QNX Neutrino RTOS supports these functions only for compatibility with QNX 4 programs; don't use them in new programs.
getpriority(), setpriority()
Deprecated; don't use these functions.