[LLVMdev] Usage of getenv() inside LLVM and thread safety

Justin Holewinski justin.holewinski at gmail.com
Thu May 23 07:13:06 PDT 2013

That sounds like a missed multi-threading issue with LLVM.  I can't imagine
why the user should be forced to serialize creation of MCContext objects. I
would suggest filing a bug for this.  A simple lock probably wouldn't be
too detrimental to performance here, since MCContext objects shouldn't be
created too often.

On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM, Dirkjan Bussink <d.bussink at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello,
> In Rubinius we're seeing an occasional crash inside LLVM that always
> happens inside getenv(), which is used for example when creating a
> MCContext (inside lib/MC/MCContext.cpp, it checks
> getenv("AS_SECURE_LOG_FILE")).
> The problem is that getenv() and friends aren't thread safe and Rubinius
> provides a multithreaded system. We can relatively easily get locking setup
> around the getenv() calls we do in Rubinius, but that's really complex to
> be able to do for LLVM. I also don't know what the guarantees are here that
> LLVM wants to provide regarding thread safety of code that happens to have
> a getenv() call inside it.
> What would be the best approach to solving this? Would it be necessary to
> put locking around this inside our usage of LLVM? Should LLVM provide a
> locking mechanism for this or should there be a way to make the getenv()
> calls optional in the places there are used (like here in MCContext).
> Regarding the thread safety, this is what the open group says about
> getenv():
> "The getenv() function need not be reentrant. A function that is not
> required to be reentrant is not required to be thread-safe."
> http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009696799/functions/getenv.html
> --
> Regards,
> Dirkjan Bussink
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Justin Holewinski
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