Checks for some thread-unsafe functions against a black list of known-to-be-unsafe functions. Usually they access static variables without synchronization (e.g. gmtime(3)) or utilize signals in a racy way. The set of functions to check is specified with the FunctionSet option.

Note that using some thread-unsafe functions may be still valid in concurrent programming if only a single thread is used (e.g. setenv(3)), however, some functions may track a state in global variables which would be clobbered by subsequent (non-parallel, but concurrent) calls to a related function. E.g. the following code suffers from unprotected accesses to a global state:

// getnetent(3) maintains global state with DB connection, etc.
// If a concurrent green thread calls getnetent(3), the global state is corrupted.
netent = getnetent();
netent = getnetent();


tm = gmtime(timep); // uses a global buffer

sleep(1); // implementation may use SIGALRM

Specifies which functions in libc should be considered thread-safe, possible values are posix, glibc, or any.

posix means POSIX defined thread-unsafe functions. POSIX.1-2001 in “2.9.1 Thread-Safety” defines that all functions specified in the standard are thread-safe except a predefined list of thread-unsafe functions.

Glibc defines some of them as thread-safe (e.g. dirname(3)), but adds non-POSIX thread-unsafe ones (e.g. getopt_long(3)). Glibc’s list is compiled from GNU web documentation with a search for MT-Safe tag:

If you want to identify thread-unsafe API for at least one libc or unsure which libc will be used, use any (default).