[sane-devel] pros and cons regarding --enable-pthread for Linux

m. allan noah kitno455 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 00:41:40 UTC 2010

Pthread is the default on other platforms because they generally don't
let open usb device handles pass across a fork(). Since this works on
Linux, and threads were so flaky all those years ago, non-threaded
became the default for Linux. Honestly, I think it could be changed,
but I don't think pthread is as well tested, since most user's use
whatever their distro compiles :)


On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 10:52 AM, Johannes Meixner <jsmeix at suse.de> wrote:
> Hello,
> currently we (i.e. openSUSE/Novell) compile sane-backends
> with its default configure setting "--disable-pthread" for Linux.
> A consequence is that the mustek_usb2 backend is not built
> because it requires "--enable-pthread", see
> https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=633780
> Therefore I am thinking about to use "--enable-pthread"
> but I don't know about possible bad consequences.
> Therefore I like to get information about the pros and cons
> regarding "--enable-pthread".
> In particular what is the reason why "--enable-pthread" is
> the default for MacOS X/MINGW but not for everything else,
> in particular not for Linux.
> I found the older mail thread "fork or pthread for async I/O?"
> on sane-devel dated February 2000:
> http://www.sane-project.org/old-archive/2000-02/0013.html
> where in particular
> http://www.sane-project.org/old-archive/2000-02/0017.html
> seems to show a reason why the default is "--disable-pthread".
> But I don't know if this default still makes sense or is it
> probably safe at least for Linux to use "--enable-pthread"?
> Kind Regards
> Johannes Meixner
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