relinquish CPU

Alternative to sched_yield()

In case sched_yield() does not seem to work for you or it is not available, you can try calling usleep(0) as a workaround.

int sched_yield(void); from (#include <sched.h>) causes the calling thread to relinquish the CPU. The thread is moved to the end of the queue for its static priority and a new thread gets to run.
From: man 3 sched_yield

int usleep(useconds_t usec); from (#include <unistd.h>) suspends execution of the calling thread for (at least) usec microseconds. The sleep may be lengthened slightly by any system activity or by the time spent processing the call or by the granularity of system timers.
From: man 3 usleep


  • Do not use sleep(0) as a workaround as in some older versions of glibc it will not have any effect at all! In those older versions there is a check if the input parameter is set to 0 and if it is then it will do nothing at all. Specifically the code is as follows:
    if (seconds == 0)
     return 0;

    If you want to review the code changes in sleep.c or see how usleep.c is code, download this archive: [download id=”3897″]
    It contains all versions of sleep.c up to today and the latest version of usleep.c.

  • If the calling thread is the only thread in the highest priority list at that time, it will continue to run after a call to sched_yield().
  • Strategic calls to sched_yield() can improve performance by giving other threads or processes a chance to run when (heavily) contended resources (e.g., mutexes) have been released by the caller. Avoid calling sched_yield() unnecessarily or inappropriately (e.g., when resources needed by other schedulable threads are still held by the caller), since doing so will result in unnecessary context switches, which will degrade system performance.