# 25.2. Background¶

User extensions (call-back functions) are invoked by the system when the following events occur

• fatal error detection (system termination).

The user extensions have event-specific arguments, invocation orders and execution contexts. Extension sets can be installed at run-time via rtems_extension_create() (dynamic extension sets) or at link-time via the application configuration option CONFIGURE_INITIAL_EXTENSIONS (initial extension sets).

The execution context of user extensions varies. Some user extensions are invoked with ownership of the allocator mutex. The allocator mutex protects dynamic memory allocations and object creation/deletion. Some user extensions are invoked with thread dispatching disabled. The fatal error extension is invoked in an arbitrary context.

## 25.2.1. Extension Sets¶

User extensions are maintained as a set. All user extensions are optional and may be NULL. Together a set of these user extensions typically performs a specific functionality such as performance monitoring or debugger support. The extension set is defined via the following structure.

typedef struct {
rtems_fatal_extension          fatal;
} rtems_extensions_table;


## 25.2.2. TCB Extension Area¶

There is no system-provided storage for the initial extension sets.

The task control block (TCB) contains a pointer for each dynamic extension set. The pointer is initialized to NULL during thread initialization before the thread create extension is invoked. The pointer may be used by the dynamic extension set to maintain thread-specific data.

The TCB extension is an array of pointers in the TCB. The index into the table can be obtained from the extension identifier returned when the extension object is created:

index = rtems_object_id_get_index( extension_id );


The number of pointers in the area is the same as the number of dynamic user extension sets configured. This allows an application to augment the TCB with user-defined information. For example, an application could implement task profiling by storing timing statistics in the TCB’s extended memory area. When a task context switch is being executed, the thread switch extension could read a real-time clock to calculate how long the task being swapped out has run as well as timestamp the starting time for the task being swapped in.

If used, the extended memory area for the TCB should be allocated and the TCB extension pointer should be set at the time the task is created or started by either the thread create or thread start extension. The application is responsible for managing this extended memory area for the TCBs. The memory may be reinitialized by the thread restart extension and should be deallocated by the thread delete extension when the task is deleted. Since the TCB extension buffers would most likely be of a fixed size, the RTEMS partition manager could be used to manage the application’s extended memory area. The application could create a partition of fixed size TCB extension buffers and use the partition manager’s allocation and deallocation directives to obtain and release the extension buffers.

## 25.2.3. Order of Invocation¶

The user extensions are invoked in either extension forward order or extension reverse order. By invoking the user extensions in these orders, extensions can be built upon one another. At the following system events, the user extensions are invoked in forward order

• fatal error detection.

At the following system events, the user extensions are invoked in reverse order:

At these system events, the user extensions are invoked in reverse order to insure that if an extension set is built upon another, the more complicated user extension is invoked before the user extension it is built upon. An example is use of the thread delete extension by the Standard C Library. Extension sets which are installed after the Standard C Library will operate correctly even if they utilize the C Library because the C Library’s thread delete extension is invoked after that of the other thread delete extensions.

The thread create extension is invoked during thread creation, for example via rtems_task_create() or pthread_create(). The thread create extension is defined as follows.

typedef bool ( *rtems_task_create_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing,
rtems_tcb *created
);


The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread. The created is a pointer to the TCB of the created thread. The created thread is completely initialized with respect to the operating system.

The executing thread is the owner of the allocator mutex except during creation of the idle threads. Since the allocator mutex allows nesting the normal memory allocation routines can be used.

A thread create extension will frequently attempt to allocate resources. If this allocation fails, then the thread create extension must return false and the entire thread create operation will fail, otherwise it must return true.

The thread create extension is invoked in forward order with thread dispatching enabled (except during system initialization).

The thread start extension is invoked during a thread start, for example via rtems_task_start() or pthread_create(). The thread start extension is defined as follows.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_start_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing,
rtems_tcb *started
);


The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread. The started is a pointer to the TCB of the started thread. It is invoked after the environment of the started thread has been loaded and the started thread has been made ready. So, in SMP configurations, the thread may already run on another processor before the thread start extension is actually invoked. Thread switch and thread begin extensions may run before or in parallel with the thread start extension in SMP configurations.

The thread start extension is invoked in forward order with thread dispatching disabled.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_restart_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing,
rtems_tcb *restarted
);


Both executing and restarted are pointers the TCB of the currently executing thread. It is invoked in the context of the executing thread right before the execution context is reloaded. The thread stack reflects the previous execution context.

The thread restart extension is invoked in forward order with thread dispatching enabled (except during system initialization). The thread life is protected. Thread restart and delete requests issued by thread restart extensions lead to recursion. The POSIX cleanup handlers, POSIX key destructors and thread-local object destructors run in this context.

The thread switch extension is defined as follows.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_switch_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing,
rtems_tcb *heir
);


The invocation conditions of the thread switch extension depend on whether RTEMS was configured for uniprocessor or SMP systems. A user must pay attention to the differences to correctly implement a thread switch extension.

In uniprocessor configurations, the thread switch extension is invoked before the context switch from the currently executing thread to the heir thread. The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread. The heir is a pointer to the TCB of the heir thread. The context switch initiated through the multitasking start is not covered by the thread switch extension.

In SMP configurations, the thread switch extension is invoked after the context switch to the new executing thread (previous heir thread). The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the previously executing thread. Despite the name, this is not the currently executing thread. The heir is a pointer to the TCB of the newly executing thread. This is the currently executing thread. The context switches initiated through the multitasking start are covered by the thread switch extension. The reason for the differences to uniprocessor configurations is that the context switch may update the heir thread of the processor, see Thread Dispatch Details. The thread switch extensions are invoked with disabled interrupts and with ownership of a per-processor SMP lock. Thread switch extensions may run in parallel on multiple processors. It is recommended to use thread-local or per-processor data structures for thread switch extensions. A global SMP lock should be avoided for performance reasons.

The thread switch extension is invoked in forward order with thread dispatching disabled.

The thread begin extension is invoked during a thread begin before the thread entry function is called. The thread begin extension is defined as follows.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_begin_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing
);


The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread. The thread begin extension executes in a normal thread context and may allocate resources for the executing thread. In particular, it has access to thread-local storage of the executing thread.

The thread begin extension is invoked in forward order with thread dispatching enabled. The thread switch extension may be called multiple times for this thread before or during the thread begin extension is invoked.

The thread exitted extension is invoked once the thread entry function returns. The thread exitted extension is defined as follows.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_exitted_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing
);


The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread.

This extension is invoked in forward order with thread dispatching enabled.

The thread termination extension is invoked in case a termination request is recognized by the currently executing thread. Termination requests may result due to calls of rtems_task_delete(), pthread_exit(), or pthread_cancel(). The thread termination extension is defined as follows.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_terminate_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing
);


The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread.

It is invoked in the context of the terminated thread right before the thread dispatch to the heir thread. The POSIX cleanup handlers, POSIX key destructors and thread-local object destructors run in this context. Depending on the order, the thread termination extension has access to thread-local storage and thread-specific data of POSIX keys.

The thread delete extension is invoked in case a zombie thread is killed. A thread becomes a zombie thread after it terminated. The thread delete extension is defined as follows.

typedef void ( *rtems_task_delete_extension )(
rtems_tcb *executing,
rtems_tcb *deleted
);


The executing is a pointer to the TCB of the currently executing thread. The deleted is a pointer to the TCB of the deleted thread. The executing and deleted pointers are never equal.

The executing thread is the owner of the allocator mutex. Since the allocator mutex allows nesting the normal memory allocation routines can be used.

The thread delete extension is invoked in reverse order with thread dispatching enabled.

Please note that a thread delete extension is not immediately invoked with a call to rtems_task_delete() or similar. The thread must first terminate and this may take some time. The thread delete extension is invoked by rtems_task_create() or similar as a result of a lazy garbage collection of zombie threads.

## 25.2.12. Fatal Error Extension¶

The fatal error extension is invoked during system termination. The fatal error extension is defined as follows.

typedef void( *rtems_fatal_extension )(
rtems_fatal_source source,
bool               always_set_to_false,
rtems_fatal_code   code
);


The source parameter is the fatal source indicating the subsystem the fatal condition originated in. The always_set_to_false parameter is always set to false and provided only for backward compatibility reasons. The code parameter is the fatal error code. This value must be interpreted with respect to the source.

The fatal error extension is invoked in forward order.

It is strongly advised to use initial extension sets to install a fatal error extension. Usually, the initial extension set of board support package provides a fatal error extension which resets the board. In this case, the dynamic fatal error extensions are not invoked.