7.1 signal -- Set handlers for asynchronous events

This module provides mechanisms to use signal handlers in Python. Some general rules for working with signals and their handlers:

The variables defined in the signal module are:

This is one of two standard signal handling options; it will simply perform the default function for the signal. For example, on most systems the default action for SIGQUIT is to dump core and exit, while the default action for SIGCLD is to simply ignore it.

This is another standard signal handler, which will simply ignore the given signal.

All the signal numbers are defined symbolically. For example, the hangup signal is defined as signal.SIGHUP; the variable names are identical to the names used in C programs, as found in <signal.h>. The Unix man page for `signal()' lists the existing signals (on some systems this is signal(2), on others the list is in signal(7)). Note that not all systems define the same set of signal names; only those names defined by the system are defined by this module.

One more than the number of the highest signal number.

The signal module defines the following functions:

alarm (time)
If time is non-zero, this function requests that a SIGALRM signal be sent to the process in time seconds. Any previously scheduled alarm is canceled (i.e. only one alarm can be scheduled at any time). The returned value is then the number of seconds before any previously set alarm was to have been delivered. If time is zero, no alarm id scheduled, and any scheduled alarm is canceled. The return value is the number of seconds remaining before a previously scheduled alarm. If the return value is zero, no alarm is currently scheduled. (See the Unix man page alarm(2).)

getsignal (signalnum)
Return the current signal handler for the signal signalnum. The returned value may be a callable Python object, or one of the special values signal.SIG_IGN, signal.SIG_DFL or None. Here, signal.SIG_IGN means that the signal was previously ignored, signal.SIG_DFL means that the default way of handling the signal was previously in use, and None means that the previous signal handler was not installed from Python.

pause ()
Cause the process to sleep until a signal is received; the appropriate handler will then be called. Returns nothing. (See the Unix man page signal(2).)

signal (signalnum, handler)
Set the handler for signal signalnum to the function handler. handler can be a callable Python object taking two arguments (see below), or one of the special values signal.SIG_IGN or signal.SIG_DFL. The previous signal handler will be returned (see the description of getsignal() above). (See the Unix man page signal(2).)

When threads are enabled, this function can only be called from the main thread; attempting to call it from other threads will cause a ValueError exception to be raised.

The handler is called with two arguments: the signal number and the current stack frame (None or a frame object; see the reference manual for a description of frame objects).


See About this document... for information on suggesting changes.