TimerTimeout(), TimerTimeout_r()

Set a timeout on a blocking state


#include <sys/neutrino.h>

int TimerTimeout( clockid_t id,
                  int flags,
                  const struct sigevent * notify,
                  const uint64_t * ntime,
                  uint64_t * otime );

int TimerTimeout_r( clockid_t id,
                    int flags,
                    const struct sigevent * notify,
                    const uint64_t * ntime,
                    uint64_t * otime );


The type of timer to implement the timeout; one of:
Flags that specify which states the timeout applies to. For the list and description of applicable states, see below. You can also OR in TIMER_ABSTIME to set an absolute expiration time; otherwise the time is relative to the time at which you called TimerTimeout().
NULL, or a pointer to a sigevent structure that contains the event to act on when the timeout expires; see below.
NULL, or a pointer to the timeout (in nanoseconds). If this argument is NULL, the timeout occurs immediately.
NULL, or a pointer to a location where the function can store the time remaining in the sleep if the flags include _NTO_TIMEOUT_NANOSLEEP.



Use the -l c option to qcc to link against this library. This library is usually included automatically.


The TimerTimeout() and TimerTimeout_r() kernel calls set a timeout on any kernel blocking state. These functions are identical except in the way they indicate errors. See the Returns section for details.

Note: The timer_timeout(). function is a cover for TimerTimeout() that uses a timespec structure instead of a uint64_t to specify the timeout.

The following table shows the blocking states that are entered as a result of certain kernel calls, along with the corresponding timeout state bits that you can use in the flags argument:

Call Blocking state Timeout state
MsgReceive(), MsgReceivePulse(), MsgReceivePulsev(), MsgReceivev() STATE_RECEIVE _NTO_TIMEOUT_RECEIVE
MsgSend(), MsgSendnc(), MsgSendsv(), MsgSendsvnc(), MsgSendv(), MsgSendvnc(), MsgSendvs(), MsgSendvsnc() STATE_SEND or STATE_REPLY _NTO_TIMEOUT_SEND or _NTO_TIMEOUT_REPLY

For example, to set a timeout on MsgSendv(), specify _NTO_TIMEOUT_SEND | _NTO_TIMEOUT_REPLY for the flags argument.

Here's what happens to the timer:

Note: A relative timeout starts when you call TimerTimeout(), not when the blocking state is entered. It's possible to get preempted after calling TimerTimeout() but before the blocking kernel call.

TimerTimeout() always operates on a one-shot basis. When one of the above kernel calls returns (or is interrupted by a signal), the timeout request is removed from the system. Only one timeout per thread may be in effect at a time. A second call to TimerTimeout(), without calling one of the above kernel functions, replaces the existing timeout on that thread. A call with flags set to zero ensures that a timeout won't occur on any state. This is the default when a thread is created.

Always call TimerTimeout() just before the function that you wish to time out. For example:

event.sigev_notify = SIGEV_UNBLOCK;

timeout = 10 * 1000000000;

              &event, &timeout, NULL );
MsgSendv( coid, NULL, 0, NULL, 0 );

If you call TimerTimeout() followed by a kernel call that can't cause the thread to block (e.g., ClockId()), the results are undefined.

If a signal handler is called between the calls to TimerTimeout() and MsgSendv(), the TimerTimeout() values are saved during the signal handler and then are restored when the signal handler exits.

If the timeout expires, the kernel acts upon the event specified in the sigevent structure pointed to by the notify argument. We recommend the following event types in this case:

Only SIGEV_UNBLOCK guarantees that the kernel call unblocks. A signal may be ignored, blocked, or accepted by another thread, and a pulse can unblock only a MsgReceivev(). If you pass NULL for notify, SIGEV_UNBLOCK is assumed. In this case, a timed-out kernel call returns failure with an error of ETIMEDOUT.

Note: MsgSend*() doesn't unblock on SIGEV_UNBLOCK if the server has already received the message via MsgReceive*() and has specified _NTO_CHF_UNBLOCK in the flags argument to its ChannelCreate() call. In this case, it's up to the server to do a MsgReply*() or MsgError().

The timeout

The type of timer used to implement the timeout is specified with the id argument. The timeout:

Note: Because of the nature of time measurement, the timer might actually expire later than the specified time. For more information, see the Tick, Tock: Understanding the Neutrino Microkernel's Concept of Time chapter of the QNX Neutrino Programmer's Guide.

If you don't wish to block for any time, you can pass a NULL for ntime, in which case no timer is used, the event is assumed to be SIGEV_UNBLOCK, and an attempt to enter a blocking state as set by flags immediately returns with ETIMEDOUT. Although a questionable practice, you can use it to poll potential blocking kernel calls. For example, you can poll for messages using MsgReceivev() with an immediate timeout. A much better approach is to use multiple threads and have one block while waiting for messages.

If you set flags to _NTO_TIMEOUT_NANOSLEEP, then:

Blocking states

These calls don't block unless you specify _NTO_TIMEOUT_NANOSLEEP in flags. In this case, the calls block as follows:

The calling thread blocks for the requested time period.


The previous flags. If an error occurs:


All kernel timer entries are in use.
A fault occurred when the kernel tried to access ntime, otime, or notify.
The call was interrupted by a signal.
The id argument doesn't specify a valid clock ID.


QNX Neutrino

Cancellation point No
Interrupt handler No
Signal handler Yes
Thread Yes

See also:

sigevent, timer_timeout(), TimerCreate(), TimerInfo()

Clocks, Timers, and Getting a Kick Every So Often chapter of Getting Started with QNX Neutrino