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typedef void (*sighandler_t)(int);
sighandler_t signal(int signum, sighandler_t handler);
Upon arrival of a signal with number signum the following happens. If the corresponding handler is set to SIG_IGN, then the signal is ignored. If the handler is set to SIG_DFL, then the default action associated with the signal (see signal(7)) occurs. Finally, if the handler is set to a function sighandler then first either the handler is reset to SIG_DFL or an implementation-dependent blocking of the signal is performed and next sighandler is called with argument signum.
Using a signal handler function for a signal is called "catching the signal". The signals SIGKILL and SIGSTOP cannot be caught or ignored.
If one on a libc5 system includes <bsd/signal.h> instead of <signal.h> then signal() is redefined as __bsd_signal and signal has the BSD semantics. This is not recommended.
If one on a glibc2 system defines a feature test macro such as _XOPEN_SOURCE or uses a separate sysv_signal function, one obtains classical behaviour. This is not recommended.
Trying to change the semantics of this call using defines and includes is not a good idea. It is better to avoid signal() altogether, and use sigaction(2) instead.
The routine handler must be very careful, since processing elsewhere was interrupted at some arbitrary point. POSIX has the concept of "safe function". If a signal interrupts an unsafe function, and handler calls an unsafe function, then the behavior is undefined. Safe functions are listed explicitly in the various standards. The POSIX.1-2003 list is
_Exit() _exit() abort() accept() access() aio_error() aio_return() aio_suspend() alarm() bind() cfgetispeed() cfgetospeed() cfsetispeed() cfsetospeed() chdir() chmod() chown() clock_gettime() close() connect() creat() dup() dup2() execle() execve() fchmod() fchown() fcntl() fdatasync() fork() fpathconf() fstat() fsync() ftruncate() getegid() geteuid() getgid() getgroups() getpeername() getpgrp() getpid() getppid() getsockname() getsockopt() getuid() kill() link() listen() lseek() lstat() mkdir() mkfifo() open() pathconf() pause() pipe() poll() posix_trace_event() pselect() raise() read() readlink() recv() recvfrom() recvmsg() rename() rmdir() select() sem_post() send() sendmsg() sendto() setgid() setpgid() setsid() setsockopt() setuid() shutdown() sigaction() sigaddset() sigdelset() sigemptyset() sigfillset() sigismember() signal() sigpause() sigpending() sigprocmask() sigqueue() sigset() sigsuspend() sleep() socket() socketpair() stat() symlink() sysconf() tcdrain() tcflow() tcflush() tcgetattr() tcgetpgrp() tcsendbreak() tcsetattr() tcsetpgrp() time() timer_getoverrun() timer_gettime() timer_settime() times() umask() uname() unlink() utime() wait() waitpid() write().
According to POSIX, the behaviour of a process is undefined after it ignores a SIGFPE, SIGILL, or SIGSEGV signal that was not generated by the kill(2) or the raise(3) functions. Integer division by zero has undefined result. On some architectures it will generate a SIGFPE signal. (Also dividing the most negative integer by -1 may generate SIGFPE.) Ignoring this signal might lead to an endless loop.
See sigaction(2) for details on what happens when SIGCHLD is set to SIG_IGN.
The use of sighandler_t is a GNU extension. Various versions of libc predefine this type; libc4 and libc5 define SignalHandler, glibc defines sig_t and, when _GNU_SOURCE is defined, also sighandler_t.
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