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What is pthread.dll?


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Windows Process Description:

The pthread.dll file is known as the POSIX Threads Library for Windows and is distributed as the Dynamic Link Library associated with POSIX Threads or Pthreads-win32. Pthreads-win32 is comprised of several binary link libraries, several modules, associated interface definition files and scripts used to control its compilation and installation. The pthread.dll module defines an application programming interface (API) for writing multi-threaded applications. This interface is more commonly known as pthreads.

The pthread.dll file is included in Pthreads-win32, an Open Source Software implementation of the Threads component of the 1995 Standard POSIX 1003.1c for Microsoft's Win32 environment. It is open source, meaning, it can be redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. Some operations from POSIX 1003.1b are also supported including semaphores. Other associated functions include the set of read-write lock functions. Furthermore, the library supports some of the functionality of the Open Group's Single Unix specification, or the version 2 mutex types.

There are lots of versions of the pthread.dll file, usually with different suffixes associated with the build. The most vital choice you need to make is whether to use a version that uses exceptions internally or not. There are versions of the pthread.dll file library that use exceptions as an element of the thread cancellation and cleanup implementation, and another one that uses setjmp/longjmp instead.

There seems to be more in favor of using the pthread.dll file with C++ applications, since this appears to be the assumption the commercial pthreads.dll module implementations make. Use another version of the pthread.dll module and the associated pthread.lib file is likely to behave very differently when linked with other pthread libraries. The pthread.dll file library is being built using various exception handling schemes and compilers, and since the library may not work reliably if these are combined in an application, each separate version of the library has its own name.

Author: Ross Johnson, et. al., Open Source, General Lesser Public License

Author URL:

Part Of: POSIX Threads for Windows

Memory Usage: Low

Associated Applications: used in many projects either migrating from Unix platforms or developing cross-platform applications

Background DLL: No

Uses Network: No

Hardware Related: No

Common Path: C:\ Windows\ pthread.dll

DLL Version: 2.8.0

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