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       This  manual  page  is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.  The Linux implementation of
       this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux  manual  page  for  details  of
       Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.


       alarm — schedule an alarm signal


       #include <unistd.h>

       unsigned alarm(unsigned seconds);


       The  alarm()  function shall cause the system to generate a SIGALRM signal for the process
       after the number  of  realtime  seconds  specified  by  seconds  have  elapsed.  Processor
       scheduling  delays  may  prevent  the  process  from  handling the signal as soon as it is

       If seconds is 0, a pending alarm request, if any, is canceled.

       Alarm requests are not stacked; only one SIGALRM  generation  can  be  scheduled  in  this
       manner.  If  the  SIGALRM  signal  has  not  yet  been generated, the call shall result in
       rescheduling the time at which the SIGALRM signal is generated.

       Interactions between alarm() and setitimer() are unspecified.


       If there is a previous alarm() request with time remaining, alarm() shall  return  a  non-
       zero value that is the number of seconds until the previous request would have generated a
       SIGALRM signal. Otherwise, alarm() shall return 0.


       The alarm() function is always successful, and no return value is reserved to indicate  an

       The following sections are informative.




       The  fork()  function  clears  pending  alarms  in  the child process. A new process image
       created by one of the exec functions inherits the time left to  an  alarm  signal  in  the
       image of the old process.

       Application  developers  should  note that the type of the argument seconds and the return
       value of alarm() is  unsigned.   That  means  that  a  Strictly  Conforming  POSIX  System
       Interfaces  Application  cannot pass a value greater than the minimum guaranteed value for
       {UINT_MAX}, which the ISO C standard sets as 65535, and any application passing  a  larger
       value  is  restricting  its  portability.  A different type was considered, but historical
       implementations, including those with a 16-bit int type, consistently use either  unsigned
       or int.

       Application developers should be aware of possible interactions when the same process uses
       both the alarm() and sleep() functions.


       Many historical implementations (including Version 7 and System V) allow an alarm to occur
       up to a second early.  Other implementations allow alarms up to half a second or one clock
       tick early or do not allow them to occur early at  all.  The  latter  is  considered  most
       appropriate, since it gives the most predictable behavior, especially since the signal can
       always be delayed for an indefinite amount of time due  to  scheduling.  Applications  can
       thus  choose  the  seconds argument as the minimum amount of time they wish to have elapse
       before the signal.

       The term ``realtime'' here and elsewhere (sleep(), times()) is  intended  to  mean  ``wall
       clock''  time  as  common  English  usage, and has nothing to do with ``realtime operating
       systems''. It is in contrast to virtual time, which could be misinterpreted if  just  time
       were used.

       In  some implementations, including 4.3 BSD, very large values of the seconds argument are
       silently rounded down to an implementation-specific maximum value. This maximum  is  large
       enough (to the order of several months) that the effect is not noticeable.

       There  were  two  possible  choices  for  alarm generation in multi-threaded applications:
       generation for the calling thread or generation for the process. The  first  option  would
       not  have  been  particularly  useful since the alarm state is maintained on a per-process
       basis and the alarm that is established by the last invocation of alarm() is the only  one
       that would be active.

       Furthermore,  allowing  generation  of  an  asynchronous  signal  for  a thread would have
       introduced an exception to the overall signal model. This requires a compelling reason  in
       order to be justified.




       alarm(), exec, fork(), getitimer(), pause(), sigaction(), sleep()

       The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, <signal.h>, <unistd.h>


       Portions  of  this  text  are  reprinted  and  reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std
       1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology  --  Portable  Operating  System
       Interface  (POSIX),  The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the
       Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc  and  The  Open  Group.   (This  is
       POSIX.1-2008  with  the  2013  Technical  Corrigendum  1  applied.)  In  the  event of any
       discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open  Group  Standard,  the
       original  IEEE  and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard
       can be obtained online at .

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