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33. Threads: Further Details > Linux Implementations of POSIX Threads

Linux Implementations of POSIX Threads

Linux has two main implementations of the Pthreads API:

  • LinuxThreads: This is the original Linux threading implementation, developed by Xavier Leroy.

  • NPTL (Native POSIX Threads Library): This is the modern Linux threading implementation, developed by Ulrich Drepper and Ingo Molnar as a successor to LinuxThreads. NPTL provides performance that is superior to LinuxThreads, and it adheres more closely to the SUSv3 specification for Pthreads. Support for NPTL required changes to the kernel, and these changes appeared in Linux 2.6.

Note

For a while, it appeared that the successor to LinuxThreads would be another implementation, called Next Generation POSIX Threads (NGPT), a threading implementation developed at IBM. NGPT employed an M:N design and performed significantly better than LinuxThreads. However, the NPTL developers decided to pursue a new implementation. This approach was justified—the 1:1-design NPTL was shown to perform better than NGPT. Following the release of NPTL, development of NGPT was discontinued.


  

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