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Understanding the Linux Kernel, Second Edition by Marco Cesati, Daniel P. Bovet

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Delivering a Signal

We assume that the kernel noticed the arrival of a signal and invoked one of the functions mentioned in the previous section to prepare the process descriptor of the process that is supposed to receive the signal. But in case that process was not running on the CPU at that moment, the kernel deferred the task of delivering the signal. We now turn to the activities that the kernel performs to ensure that pending signals of a process are handled.

As mentioned in Section 4.8, the kernel checks the value of the sigpending flag of the process descriptor before allowing the process to resume its execution in User Mode. Thus, the kernel checks for the existence of pending signals every time it finishes handling an interrupt or an exception.

To handle the nonblocked pending signals, the kernel invokes the do_signal( ) function, which receives two parameters:

regs

The address of the stack area where the User Mode register contents of the current process are saved.

oldset

The address of a variable where the function is supposed to save the bit mask array of blocked signals. It is NULL if there is no need to save the bit mask array.

The do_signal( ) function starts by checking whether the function itself was triggered by an interrupt; if so, it simply returns. Otherwise, if the function was triggered by an exception that was raised while the process was running in User Mode, the function continues executing:

if ((regs->xcs & 3) != 3) 
    return 1;

However, as we’ll see in ...

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