The “End of Life” announcements for per-LWP timers (see timer_create(3RT)) and per-thread alarms (see alarm(2) or setitimer(2)) were made in the Solaris 2.5 release. Both features are now replaced with the per-process variants described in this section.
Originally, each LWP had a unique realtime interval timer and alarm that a thread bound to the LWP could use. The timer or alarm delivered one signal to the thread when the timer or alarm expired.
Each LWP also had a virtual time or profile interval timer that a thread bound to the LWP could use. When the interval timer expired, either SIGVTALRM or SIGPROF, as appropriate, was sent to the LWP that owned the interval timer.
In the Solaris 2.3 and 2.4 releases, the timer_create(3RT) function returned a timer object with a timer ID meaningful only within the calling LWP and with expiration signals delivered to that LWP. Because of this, the only threads that could use the POSIX timer facility were bound threads.
Even with this restricted use, POSIX timers in the Solaris 2.3 and 2.4 releases for multithreaded applications were unreliable about masking the resulting signals and delivering the associated value from the sigvent structure.
Beginning with the Solaris 2.5 release, an application that is compiled defining the macro _POSIX_PER_PROCESS_TIMERS, or with a value greater that 199506L for the symbol _POSIX_C_SOURCE, can create per-process timers.
Effective with the Solaris 9 Operating Environment, all timers are per-process except for the virtual time and profile interval timers (see setitimer(2) for ITIMER_VIRTUAL and ITIMER_PROF), which remain per-LWP.
The timer IDs of per-process timers are usable from any LWP, and the expiration signals are generated for the process rather than directed to a specific LWP.
The per-process timers are deleted only by timer_delete(3RT) or when the process terminates.
In the Solaris Operating Environment 2.3 and 2.4 releases, a call to alarm(2) or setitimer(2) was meaningful only within the calling LWP. Such timers were deleted automatically when the creating LWP terminated. Because of this, the only threads that could use alarm() or setitimer() were bound threads.
Even with this restricted use, alarm() and setitimer() timers in Solaris Operating Environment 2.3 and 2.4 multithreaded applications were unreliable about masking the signals from the bound thread that issued these calls. When such masking was not required, then these two system calls worked reliably from bound threads.
With the Solaris Operating Environment 2.5 release, an application linking with -lpthread (POSIX) threads got per-process delivery of SIGALRM when calling alarm(). The SIGALRM generated by alarm() is generated for the process rather than directed to a specific LWP. Also, the alarm is reset when the process terminates.
Applications compiled with a release before the Solaris Operating Environment 2.5 release, or not linked with -lpthread, will continue to see a per-LWP delivery of signals generated by alarm() and setitimer()
Effective with the Solaris 9 Operating Environment, calls to alarm() or to setitimer(ITIMER_REAL) will cause the resulting SIGALRM signal to be sent to the process.
In Solaris releases prior to 2.6, calling profil() in a multithreaded program would impact only the calling LWP; the profile state was not inherited at LWP creation time. To profile a multithreaded program with a global profile buffer, each thread needed to issue a call to profil() at threads start-up time, and each thread had to be a bound thread. This was cumbersome and did not easily support dynamically turning profiling on and off. In Solaris 2.6 and later releases, the profil() system call for multithreaded processes has global impact—that is, a call to profil() impacts all LWPs/threads in a process. This may cause applications that depend on the previous per-LWP semantic to break, but it is expected to improve multithreaded programs that wish to turn profiling on and off dynamically at runtime.