Coro::Multicore - make coro threads on multiple cores with specially
    supported modules

     # when you DO control the main event loop, e.g. in the main program

     use Coro::Multicore; # enable by default

     AE::cv->recv; # or EV::run, AnyEvent::Loop::run, Event::loop, ...

     # when you DO NOT control the event loop, e.g. in a module on CPAN
     # do nothing (see HOW TO USE IT) or something like this:

     use Coro::Multicore (); # disable by default

     async {

        # blocking is safe in your own threads

    While Coro threads (unlike ithreads) provide real threads similar to
    pthreads, python threads and so on, they do not run in parallel to each
    other even on machines with multiple CPUs or multiple CPU cores.

    This module lifts this restriction under two very specific but useful
    conditions: firstly, the coro thread executes in XS code and does not
    touch any perl data structures, and secondly, the XS code is specially
    prepared to allow this.

    This means that, when you call an XS function of a module prepared for
    it, this XS function can execute in parallel to any other Coro threads.
    This is useful for both CPU bound tasks (such as cryptography) as well
    as I/O bound tasks (such as loading an image from disk). It can also be
    used to do stuff in parallel via APIs that were not meant for this, such
    as database accesses via DBI.

    The mechanism to support this is easily added to existing modules and is
    independent of Coro or Coro::Multicore, and therefore could be used,
    without changes, with other, similar, modules, or even the perl core,
    should it gain real thread support anytime soon. See
    <> for more info on how to prepare a
    module to allow parallel execution. Preparing an existing module is
    easy, doesn't add much overhead and no dependencies.

    This module is an AnyEvent user (and also, if not obvious, uses Coro).

    Quick explanation: decide whether you control the main program/the event
    loop and choose one of the two styles from the SYNOPSIS.

    Longer explanation: There are two major modes this module can used in -
    supported operations run asynchronously either by default, or only when
    requested. The reason you might not want to enable this module for all
    operations by default is compatibility with existing code:

    Since this module integrates into an event loop and you must not
    normally block and wait for something in an event loop callbacks. Now
    imagine somebody patches your favourite module (e.g. Digest::MD5) to
    take advantage of of the Perl Multicore API.

    Then code that runs in an event loop callback and executes
    Digest::MD5::md5 would work fine without "Coro::Multicore" - it would
    simply calculate the MD5 digest and block execution of anything else.
    But with "Coro::Multicore" enabled, the same operation would try to run
    other threads. And when those wait for events, there is no event loop
    anymore, as the event loop thread is busy doing the MD5 calculation,
    leading to a deadlock.

    One way to avoid this is to not run perlmulticore enabled functions in
    any callbacks. A simpler way to ensure it works is to disable
    "Coro::Multicore" thread switching in event loop callbacks, and enable
    it everywhere else.

    Therefore, if you control the event loop, as is usually the case when
    you write *program* and not a *module*, then you can enable
    "Coro::Multicore" by default, and disable it in your event loop thread:

       # example 1, separate thread for event loop

       use EV;
       use Coro;
       use Coro::Multicore;

       async {

       # do something else

       # example 2, run event loop as main program

       use EV;
       use Coro;
       use Coro::Multicore;


       ... initialisation


    The latter form is usually better and more idiomatic - the main thread
    is the best place to run the event loop.

    Often you want to do some initialisation before running the event loop.
    The most efficient way to do that is to put your intialisation code (and
    main program) into its own thread and run the event loop in your main

       use AnyEvent::Loop;
       use Coro::Multicore; # enable by default

       async {


    This has the effect of running the event loop first, so the
    initialisation code can block if it wants to.

    If this is too cumbersome but you still want to make sure you can call
    blocking functions before entering the event loop, you can keep
    "Coro::Multicore" disabled till you cna run the event loop:

       use AnyEvent::Loop;
       use Coro::Multicore (); # disable by default


       Coro::Multicore::scoped_disable; # disable for event loop
       Coro::Multicore::enable 1; # enable for the rest of the program

    When you *do not* control the event loop, for example, because you want
    to use this from a module you published on CPAN, then the previous
    method doesn't work.

    However, this is not normally a problem in practise - most modules only
    do work at request of the caller. In that case, you might not care
    whether it does block other threads or not, as this would be the callers
    responsibility (or decision), and by extension, a decision for the main

    So unless you use XS and want your XS functions to run asynchronously,
    you don't have to worry about "Coro::Multicore" at all - if you happen
    to call XS functions that are multicore-enabled and your caller has
    configured things correctly, they will automatically run asynchronously.
    Or in other words: nothing needs to be done at all, which also means
    that this method works fine for existing pure-perl modules, without
    having to change them at all.

    Only if your module runs it's own Coro threads could it be an issue -
    maybe your module implements some kind of job pool and relies on certain
    operations to run asynchronously. Then you can still use
    "Coro::Multicore" by not enabling it be default and only enabling it in
    your own threads:

       use Coro;
       use Coro::Multicore (); # note the () to disable by default

       async {

          # do things asynchronously by calling perlmulticore-enabled functions

    This module does not (at the moment) export any symbols. It does,
    however, export "behaviour" - if you use the default import, then
    Coro::Multicore will be enabled for all threads and all callers in the
    whole program:

       use Coro::Multicore;

    In a module where you don't control what else might be loaded and run,
    you might want to be more conservative, and not import anything. This
    has the effect of not enabling the functionality by default, so you have
    to enable it per scope:

       use Coro::Multicore ();

       sub myfunc {

          # from here to the end of this function, and in any functions
          # called from this function, tasks will be executed asynchronously.

    $previous = Coro::Multicore::enable [$enable]
        This function enables (if $enable is true) or disables (if $enable
        is false) the multicore functionality globally. By default, it is

        This can be used to effectively disable this module's functionality
        by default, and enable it only for selected threads or scopes, by
        calling "Coro::Multicore::scoped_enable".

        Note that this setting nonly affects the *global default* - it will
        not reflect whether multicore functionality is enabled for the
        current thread.

        The function returns the previous value of the enable flag.

        This function instructs Coro::Multicore to handle all requests
        executed in the current coro thread, from the call to the end of the
        current scope.

        Calls to "scoped_enable" and "scoped_disable" don't nest very well
        at the moment, so don't nest them.

        The opposite of "Coro::Multicore::scope_disable": instructs
        Coro::Multicore to *not* handle the next multicore-enabled request.

    Just because an XS module supports perlmulticore might not immediately
    make it reentrant. For example, while you can (try to) call "execute" on
    the same database handle for the patched "DBD::mysql" (see the registry
    <>), this will almost certainly
    not work, despite "DBD::mysql" and "libmysqlclient" being thread safe
    and reentrant - just not on the same database handle.

    Many modules have limitations such as these - some can only be called
    concurrently from a single thread as they use global variables, some can
    only be called concurrently on different *handles* (e.g. database
    connections for DBD modules, or digest objects for Digest modules), and
    some can be called at any time (such as the "md5" function in

    Generally, you only have to be careful with the very few modules that
    use global variables or rely on C libraries that aren't thread-safe,
    which should be documented clearly in the module documentation.

    Most modules are either perfectly reentrant, or at least reentrant as
    long as you give every thread it's own *handle* object.

    Coro allows you to cancel threads even when they execute within an XS
    function ("cancel" vs. "cancel" methods). Similarly, Coro allows you to
    send exceptions (e.g. via the "throw" method) to threads executing
    inside an XS function.

    While doing this is questionable and dangerous with normal Coro threads
    already, they are both supported in this module, although with
    potentially unwanted effects. The following describes the current
    implementation and is subject to change. It is described primarily so
    you can understand what went wrong, if things go wrong.

        When a thread that has currently released the perl interpreter (e.g.
        because it is executing a perlmulticore enabled XS function)
        receives an exception, it will at first continue normally.

        After acquiring the perl interpreter again, it will throw the
        exception it previously received. More specifically, when a thread
        calls "perlinterp_acquire ()" and has received an exception, then
        "perlinterp_acquire ()" will not return but instead "die".

        Most code that has been updated for perlmulticore support will not
        expect this, and might leave internal state corrupted to some

        Unsafe cancellation on a thread that has released the perl
        interpreter frees its resources, but let's the XS code continue at
        first. This should not lead to corruption on the perl level, as the
        code isn't allowed to touch perl data structures until it reacquires
        the interpreter.

        The call to "perlinterp_acquire ()" will then block indefinitely,
        leaking the (OS level) thread.

        Safe cancellation will simply fail in this case, so is still "safe"
        to call.

    This module is very similar to other environments where perl
    interpreters are moved between threads, such as mod_perl2, and the same
    caveats apply.

    I want to spell out the most important ones:

    pthreads usage
        Any creation of pthreads make it impossible to fork portably from a
        perl program, as forking from within a threaded program will leave
        the program in a state similar to a signal handler. While it might
        work on some platforms (as an extension), this might also result in
        silent data corruption. It also seems to work most of the time, so
        it's hard to test for this.

        I recommend using something like AnyEvent::Fork, which can create
        subprocesses safely (via Proc::FastSpawn).

        Similar issues exist for signal handlers, although this module works
        hard to keep safe perl signals safe.

    module support
        This module moves the same perl interpreter between different
        threads. Some modules might get confused by that (although this can
        usually be considered a bug). This is a rare case though.

    event loop reliance
        To be able to wake up programs waiting for results, this module
        relies on an active event loop (via AnyEvent). This is used to
        notify the perl interpreter when the asynchronous task is done.

        Since event loops typically fail to work properly after a fork, this
        means that some operations that were formerly working will now hang
        after fork.

        A workaround is to call "Coro::Multicore::enable 0" after a fork to
        disable the module.

        Future versions of this module might do this automatically.

    (OS-) threads are never released
        At the moment, threads that were created once will never be freed.
        They will be reused for asynchronous requests, though, so as long as
        you limit the maximum number of concurrent asynchronous tasks, this
        will also limit the maximum number of threads created.

        The idle threads are not necessarily using a lot of resources: on
        GNU/Linux + glibc, each thread takes about 8KiB of userspace memory
        + whatever the kernel needs (probably less than 8KiB).

        Future versions will likely lift this limitation.

    The enable_times feature of Coro is messed up
        The enable_times feature uses the per-thread timer to measure
        per-thread execution time, but since Coro::Multicore runs threads on
        different pthreads it will get the wrong times. Real times are not

    Fork support
        Due to the nature of threads, you are not allowed to use this module
        in a forked child normally, with one exception: If you don't create
        any threads in the parent, then it is safe to start using it in a
        forked child.

     Marc Lehmann <>

    Additional thanks to Zsb√°n Ambrus, who gave considerable desing input
    for this module and the perl multicore specification.