PAUSE(3P) POSIX Programmer's Manual PAUSE(3P)

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

#include <unistd.h>
int pause(void);

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 not return.

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 signal-catching function.

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, <unistd.h>

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 .

Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source files to man page format. To report such errors, see .

2017 IEEE/The Open Group