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Manual Pages  — SLEEP


sleep – suspend thread execution for an interval measured in seconds



Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


#include <unistd.h>

unsigned int
sleep(unsigned int seconds);


The sleep() function suspends execution of the calling thread until either seconds seconds have elapsed or a signal is delivered to the thread and its action is to invoke a signal-catching function or to terminate the thread or process. System activity may lengthen the sleep by an indeterminate amount.

This function is implemented using nanosleep(2) by pausing for seconds seconds or until a signal occurs. Consequently, in this implementation, sleeping has no effect on the state of process timers, and there is no special handling for SIGALRM.


If the sleep() function returns because the requested time has elapsed, the value returned will be zero. If the sleep() function returns due to the delivery of a signal, the value returned will be the unslept amount (the requested time minus the time actually slept) in seconds.


nanosleep(2), usleep(3)


The sleep() function conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-90 ("POSIX.1").


A sleep() function appeared in AT&T v7 .

SLEEP (3) February 13, 1998

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