sched_getscheduler(2) -- Linux man page

 

NAME

sched_setscheduler, sched_getscheduler - set and get scheduling algorithm/parameters  

SYNOPSIS

#include <sched.h>

int sched_setscheduler(pid_t pid, int policy, const struct sched_param *p);

int sched_getscheduler(pid_t pid);


struct sched_param {
    ...
    int sched_priority;
    ...
};

 

DESCRIPTION

sched_setscheduler sets both the scheduling policy and the associated parameters for the process identified by pid. If pid equals zero, the scheduler of the calling process will be set. The interpretation of the parameter p depends on the selected policy. Currently, the following three scheduling policies are supported under Linux: SCHED_FIFO, SCHED_RR, and SCHED_OTHER; their respective semantics are described below.

sched_getscheduler queries the scheduling policy currently applied to the process identified by pid. If pid equals zero, the policy of the calling process will be retrieved.

 

Scheduling Policies

The scheduler is the kernel part that decides which runnable process will be executed by the CPU next. The Linux scheduler offers three different scheduling policies, one for normal processes and two for real-time applications. A static priority value sched_priority is assigned to each process and this value can be changed only via system calls. Conceptually, the scheduler maintains a list of runnable processes for each possible sched_priority value, and sched_priority can have a value in the range 0 to 99. In order to determine the process that runs next, the Linux scheduler looks for the non-empty list with the highest static priority and takes the process at the head of this list. The scheduling policy determines for each process, where it will be inserted into the list of processes with equal static priority and how it will move inside this list.

SCHED_OTHER is the default universal time-sharing scheduler policy used by most processes, SCHED_FIFO and SCHED_RR are intended for special time-critical applications that need precise control over the way in which runnable processes are selected for execution. Processes scheduled with SCHED_OTHER must be assigned the static priority 0, processes scheduled under SCHED_FIFO or SCHED_RR can have a static priority in the range 1 to 99. Only processes with superuser privileges can get a static priority higher than 0 and can therefore be scheduled under SCHED_FIFO or SCHED_RR. The system calls sched_get_priority_min and sched_get_priority_max can be used to find out the valid priority range for a scheduling policy in a portable way on all POSIX.1b conforming systems.

All scheduling is preemptive: If a process with a higher static priority gets ready to run, the current process will be preempted and returned into its wait list. The scheduling policy only determines the ordering within the list of runnable processes with equal static priority.

 

SCHED_FIFO: First In-First Out scheduling

SCHED_FIFO can only be used with static priorities higher than 0, which means that when a SCHED_FIFO processes becomes runnable, it will always preempt immediately any currently running normal SCHED_OTHER process. SCHED_FIFO is a simple scheduling algorithm without time slicing. For processes scheduled under the SCHED_FIFO policy, the following rules are applied: A SCHED_FIFO process that has been preempted by another process of higher priority will stay at the head of the list for its priority and will resume execution as soon as all processes of higher priority are blocked again. When a SCHED_FIFO process becomes runnable, it will be inserted at the end of the list for its priority. A call to sched_setscheduler or sched_setparam will put the SCHED_FIFO (or SCHED_RR) process identified by pid at the start of the list if it was runnable. As a consequence, it may preempt the currently running process if it has the same priority. (POSIX 1003.1 specifies that the process should go to the end of the list.) A process calling sched_yield will be put at the end of the list. No other events will move a process scheduled under the SCHED_FIFO policy in the wait list of runnable processes with equal static priority. A SCHED_FIFO process runs until either it is blocked by an I/O request, it is preempted by a higher priority process, or it calls sched_yield.

 

SCHED_RR: Round Robin scheduling

SCHED_RR is a simple enhancement of SCHED_FIFO. Everything described above for SCHED_FIFO also applies to SCHED_RR, except that each process is only allowed to run for a maximum time quantum. If a SCHED_RR process has been running for a time period equal to or longer than the time quantum, it will be put at the end of the list for its priority. A SCHED_RR process that has been preempted by a higher priority process and subsequently resumes execution as a running process will complete the unexpired portion of its round robin time quantum. The length of the time quantum can be retrieved by sched_rr_get_interval.

 

SCHED_OTHER: Default Linux time-sharing scheduling

SCHED_OTHER can only be used at static priority 0. SCHED_OTHER is the standard Linux time-sharing scheduler that is intended for all processes that do not require special static priority real-time mechanisms. The process to run is chosen from the static priority 0 list based on a dynamic priority that is determined only inside this list. The dynamic priority is based on the nice level (set by the nice or setpriority system call) and increased for each time quantum the process is ready to run, but denied to run by the scheduler. This ensures fair progress among all SCHED_OTHER processes.

 

Response time

A blocked high priority process waiting for the I/O has a certain response time before it is scheduled again. The device driver writer can greatly reduce this response time by using a "slow interrupt" interrupt handler.

 

Miscellaneous

Child processes inherit the scheduling algorithm and parameters across a fork.

Memory locking is usually needed for real-time processes to avoid paging delays, this can be done with mlock or mlockall.

As a non-blocking end-less loop in a process scheduled under SCHED_FIFO or SCHED_RR will block all processes with lower priority forever, a software developer should always keep available on the console a shell scheduled under a higher static priority than the tested application. This will allow an emergency kill of tested real-time applications that do not block or terminate as expected. As SCHED_FIFO and SCHED_RR processes can preempt other processes forever, only root processes are allowed to activate these policies under Linux.

POSIX systems on which sched_setscheduler and sched_getscheduler are available define _POSIX_PRIORITY_SCHEDULING in <unistd.h>.

 

RETURN VALUE

On success, sched_setscheduler returns zero. On success, sched_getscheduler returns the policy for the process (a non-negative integer). On error, -1 is returned, errno is set appropriately.  

ERRORS

ESRCH
The process whose ID is pid could not be found.
EPERM
The calling process does not have appropriate privileges. Only root processes are allowed to activate the SCHED_FIFO and SCHED_RR policies. The process calling sched_setscheduler needs an effective uid equal to the euid or uid of the process identified by pid, or it must be a superuser process.
EINVAL
The scheduling policy is not one of the recognized policies, or the parameter p does not make sense for the policy.
 

CONFORMING TO

POSIX.1b (formerly POSIX.4)  

BUGS

As of linux-1.3.81, SCHED_RR has not yet been tested carefully and might not behave exactly as described or required by POSIX.1b.  

NOTE

Standard Linux is a general-purpose operating system and can handle background processes, interactive applications, and soft real-time applications (applications that need to usually meet timing deadlines). This man page is directed at these kinds of applications.

Standard Linux is not designed to support hard real-time applications, that is, applications in which deadlines (often much shorter than a second) must be guaranteed or the system will fail catastrophically. Like all general-purpose operating systems, Linux is designed to maximize average case performance instead of worst case performance. Linux's worst case performance for interrupt handling is much poorer than its average case, its various kernel locks (such as for SMP) produce long maximum wait times, and many of its performance improvement techniques decrease average time by increasing worst-case time. For most situations, that's what you want, but if you truly are developing a hard real-time application, consider using hard real-time extensions to Linux such as RTLinux (http://www.rtlinux.org) or RTAI (http://www.rtai.org) or use a different operating system designed specifically for hard real-time applications.  

SEE ALSO

sched_setaffinity(2), sched_getaffinity(2), sched_setparam(2), sched_getparam(2), sched_yield(2), sched_get_priority_max(2), sched_get_priority_min(2), sched_rr_get_interval(2), nice(2), setpriority(2), getpriority(2), mlockall(2), munlockall(2), mlock(2), munlock(2)

Programming for the real world - POSIX.4 by Bill O. Gallmeister, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., ISBN 1-56592-074-0
IEEE Std 1003.1b-1993 (POSIX.1b standard)
ISO/IEC 9945-1:1996 - This is the new 1996 revision of POSIX.1 which contains in one single standard POSIX.1(1990), POSIX.1b(1993), POSIX.1c(1995), and POSIX.1i(1995).