GETITIMER(2)              NetBSD System Calls Manual              GETITIMER(2)

NAME
     getitimer, setitimer -- get/set value of interval timer

LIBRARY
     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS
     #include <sys/time.h>
     #define ITIMER_REAL      0
     #define ITIMER_VIRTUAL   1
     #define ITIMER_PROF      2

     int
     getitimer(int which, struct itimerval *value);

     int
     setitimer(int which, const struct itimerval * restrict value,
         struct itimerval * restrict ovalue);

DESCRIPTION
     The system provides each process with three interval timers, defined in
     <sys/time.h>.  The getitimer() call returns the current value for the
     timer specified in which in the structure at value.  The setitimer() call
     sets a timer to the specified value (returning the previous value of the
     timer if ovalue is non-nil).

     A timer value is defined by the itimerval structure:

           struct itimerval {
                   struct  timeval it_interval;    /* timer interval */
                   struct  timeval it_value;       /* current value */
           };

     If it_value is non-zero, it indicates the time to the next timer expira-
     tion.  If it_interval is non-zero, it specifies a value to be used in
     reloading it_value when the timer expires.  Setting it_value to 0 dis-
     ables a timer.  Setting it_interval to 0 causes a timer to be disabled
     after its next expiration (assuming it_value is non-zero).

     Time values smaller than the resolution of the system clock are rounded
     up to this resolution (typically 10 milliseconds).

     The ITIMER_REAL timer decrements in real time.  A SIGALRM signal is
     delivered when this timer expires.

     The ITIMER_VIRTUAL timer decrements in process virtual time.  It runs
     only when the process is executing.  A SIGVTALRM signal is delivered when
     it expires.

     The ITIMER_PROF timer decrements both in process virtual time and when
     the system is running on behalf of the process.  It is designed to be
     used by interpreters in statistically profiling the execution of inter-
     preted programs.  Each time the ITIMER_PROF timer expires, the SIGPROF
     signal is delivered.  Because this signal may interrupt in-progress sys-
     tem calls, programs using this timer must be prepared to restart inter-
     rupted system calls.

NOTES
     Macros for manipulating time values are defined in <sys/time.h>.
     timerclear() sets a time value to zero, timerisset() tests if a time
     value is non-zero, timercmp() compares two time values, timeradd() adds a
     time value to another time value, timersub() computes the time difference
     between two time values.

RETURN VALUES
     If the calls succeed, a value of 0 is returned.  If an error occurs, the
     value -1 is returned, and a more precise error code is placed in the
     global variable errno.

ERRORS
     getitimer() and setitimer() will fail if:

     [EFAULT]           The value parameter specified a bad address.

     [EINVAL]           A value parameter specified a time that was too large
                        to be handled.

SEE ALSO
     gettimeofday(2), poll(2), select(2), sigaction(2)

HISTORY
     The getitimer() function call appeared in 4.2BSD.

NetBSD 5.0.1                    August 14, 2004                   NetBSD 5.0.1

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