The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7
IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition
Copyright © 2001-2013 The IEEE and The Open Group


semget - get set of XSI semaphores


[XSI] [Option Start] #include <sys/sem.h>

int semget(key_t
key, int nsems, int semflg); [Option End]


The semget() function operates on XSI semaphores (see XBD Semaphore). It is unspecified whether this function interoperates with the realtime interprocess communication facilities defined in Realtime.

The semget() function shall return the semaphore identifier associated with key.

A semaphore identifier with its associated semid_ds data structure and its associated set of nsems semaphores (see <sys/sem.h>) is created for key if one of the following is true:

Upon creation, the semid_ds data structure associated with the new semaphore identifier is initialized as follows:


Upon successful completion, semget() shall return a non-negative integer, namely a semaphore identifier; otherwise, it shall return -1 and set errno to indicate the error.


The semget() function shall fail if:

A semaphore identifier exists for key, but operation permission as specified by the low-order 9 bits of semflg would not be granted; see XSI Interprocess Communication.
A semaphore identifier exists for the argument key but ((semflg &IPC_CREAT) &&(semflg &IPC_EXCL)) is non-zero.
The value of nsems is either less than or equal to 0 or greater than the system-imposed limit, or a semaphore identifier exists for the argument key, but the number of semaphores in the set associated with it is less than nsems and nsems is not equal to 0.
A semaphore identifier does not exist for the argument key and (semflg &IPC_CREAT) is equal to 0.
A semaphore identifier is to be created but the system-imposed limit on the maximum number of allowed semaphores system-wide would be exceeded.

The following sections are informative.


Refer to semop.


The POSIX Realtime Extension defines alternative interfaces for interprocess communication. Application developers who need to use IPC should design their applications so that modules using the IPC routines described in XSI Interprocess Communication can be easily modified to use the alternative interfaces.




A future version may require that the value of the semval, sempid, semncnt, and semzcnt members of all semaphores in a semaphore set be initialized to zero when a call to semget() creates a semaphore set. Many semaphore implementations already do this and it greatly simplifies what an application must do to initialize a semaphore set.


XSI Interprocess Communication, Realtime, ftok, semctl, semop, sem_close, sem_destroy, sem_getvalue, sem_init, sem_open, sem_post, sem_trywait, sem_unlink

XBD Semaphore, <sys/sem.h>


First released in Issue 2. Derived from Issue 2 of the SVID.

Issue 5

The note about use of POSIX Realtime Extension IPC routines has been moved from FUTURE DIRECTIONS to a new APPLICATION USAGE section.

Issue 6

IEEE Std 1003.1-2001/Cor 2-2004, item XSH/TC2/D6/122 is applied, updating the DESCRIPTION from ``each semaphore in the set shall not be initialized'' to ``each semaphore in the set need not be initialized''.

Issue 7

POSIX.1-2008, Technical Corrigendum 1, XSH/TC1-2008/0536 [335,439] and XSH/TC1-2008/0537 [344] are applied.

End of informative text.


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