What is meant by the phrase thread-safe, Operating System

The term thread-safe in computer programming describes that routine or portion of the program that may be called from multiple programming threads without uncalled for interactions between the threads. (The instance of the program which runs on behalf of some user or process is called Thread) The importance of thread safety to object oriented programming language is that it gives built-in support for threads. By the use of thread-safe routines, the risk of one thread interfering and modifing data elements of another thread gets eliminated by circumventing future/potential data race situations with coordinated access to shared data. 

It is possible to ensure that a routine is thread-safe by ensuring that synchronized algorithms are used by the concurrent threads use that cooperate with each other and limiting the shared object's  address to a single thread each time an unsynchronized algorithm is active. 

Web Reference: by Douglas C. Schmidt, 2005

                        Strategized Locking, Thread-safe Interface, and Scoped Locking                       


                    Present your own fully documented and tested programming example illustrating the use of locks to govern access to critical sections.


std::atomic inspct = 0;

int counts = 0;

Lock lck; ----


    if (lck.TryEnter()) {

        inspct.store(/* get thread id */, memory_order_relaxed);

        return true;


    return false;


bool TryEnter() {

    if (inspct.load(memory_order_relaxed) == /* get thread id */) {

        counts += 1;

        return true;


void Exit() {

    if (counts != 0) {

        counts -= 1;



    inspct.store(0, memory_order_relaxed);



The atomic variables do not cause data races, even in the most relaxed states. Here the variable is declared as atomic, There is no reason why the compiler would assume that the write can’t be implimented by other threads. 

Posted Date: 6/29/2012 2:16:05 AM | Location : United States

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