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.
pause — suspend the thread until a signal is received
The pause() function shall suspend the calling thread until delivery of a
signal whose action is either to execute a signal-catching function or to
terminate the process.
If the action is to terminate the process, pause() shall
If the action is to execute a signal-catching function,
pause() shall return after the signal-catching function returns.
Since pause() suspends thread execution indefinitely unless interrupted
by a signal, there is no successful completion return value. A value of -1
shall be returned and errno set to indicate the error.
The pause() function shall fail if:
- A signal is caught by the calling process and control is returned from the
The following sections are informative.
Many common uses of pause() have timing windows. The scenario involves
checking a condition related to a signal and, if the signal has not occurred,
calling pause(). When the signal occurs between the check and the call
to pause(), the process often blocks indefinitely. The
sigprocmask() and sigsuspend() functions can be used to avoid
this type of problem.
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2017,
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE
Std 1003.1-2017, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating
System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, 2018
Edition, Copyright (C) 2018 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. 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 http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .
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