tevent  0.9.31
Chapter 5: Tevent queue

Tevent queue

There is a possibility that the dispatcher and its handlers may not be able to handle all the incoming events as quickly as they arrive. One way to deal with this situation is to buffer the received events by introducing an event queue into the events stream, between the events generator and the dispatcher. Events are added to the queue as they arrive, and the dispatcher pops them off the beginning of the queue as fast as possible. In tevent library it is similar, but the queue is not automatically set for any event. The queue has to be created on purpose, and events which should follow the order of the FIFO queue have to be explicitly pinpointed. Creating such a queue is crucial in situations when sequential processing is absolutely essential for the successful completion of a task, e.g. for a large quantity of data that are about to be written from a buffer into a socket. The tevent library has its own queue structure that is ready to use after it has been initialized and started up once.

Creation of Queues

The first and most important step is the creation of the tevent queue (represented by struct tevent_queue), which will then be in running mode.

struct tevent_queue* tevent_queue_create (TALLOC_CTX *mem_ctx, const char *name)

When the program returns from this function, the allocated memory, set destructor and labeled queue as running has been done and the structure is ready to be filled with entries. Stopping and starting queues on the run. If you need to stop a queue from processing its entries, and then turn it on again, a couple of functions which serve this purpose are:

These functions actually only provide for the simple setting of a variable, which indicates that the queue has been stopped/started. Returned value indicates result.

Adding Requests to a Queue

Tevent in fact offers 3 possible ways of inserting a request into a queue. There are no vast differences between them, but still there might be situations where one of them is more suitable and desired than another.

bool tevent_queue_add(struct tevent_queue *queue,
struct tevent_context *ev,
struct tevent_req *req,
void *private_data)

This call is the simplest of all three. It offers only boolean verification of whether the operation of adding the request into a queue was successful or not. No additional deletion of an item from the queue is possible, i.e. it is only possible to deallocate the whole tevent request, which would cause triggering of destructor handling and also dropping the request from the queue.

Extended Options

Both of the following functions have a feature in common - they return tevent queue entry structure representing the item in a queue. There is no further possible handling with this structure except the use of the structure’s pointer for its deallocation (which leads also its removal from the queue). The difference lies in the possibility that with the following functions it is possible to remove the tevent request from a queue without its deallocation. The previous function can only deallocate the tevent request as it was from memory, and thereby logically cause its removal from the queue as well. There is no other utilization of this structure via API at this stage of tevent library. The possibility of easier debugging while developing with tevent could be considered to be an advantage of this returned pointer.

struct tevent_queue_entry *tevent_queue_add_entry(struct tevent_queue *queue,
struct tevent_context *ev,
struct tevent_req *req,
void *private_data)

The feature that allows for the optimized addition of entries to a queue is that a check for an empty queue with no items is first of all carried out. If it is found that the queue is empty, then the request for inserting the entry into a queue will be omitted and directly triggered.

struct tevent_queue_entry *tevent_queue_add_optimize_empty(struct tevent_queue *queue,
struct tevent_context *ev,
struct tevent_req *req,
void *private_data)

When calling any of the functions serving for inserting an item into a queue, it is possible to leave out the fourth argument (trigger) and instead of a function pass a NULL pointer. This usage sets so-called blocking entries. These entries, since they do not have any trigger operation to be activated, just sit in their position until they are labeled as a done by another function. Their purpose is to block other items in the queue from being triggered.

Example of tevent queue

#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <tevent.h>
struct foo_state {
int local_var;
int x;
struct juststruct {
struct tevent_context *ev;
int y;
int created = 0;
static void timer_handler(struct tevent_context *ev, struct tevent_timer *te,
struct timeval current_time, void *private_data)
// time event which after all sets request as done. Following item from
// the queue may be invoked.
struct tevent_req *req = private_data;
struct foo_state *stateX = tevent_req_data(req, struct foo_state);
// processing some stuff
printf("Request #%d set as done.\n", stateX->x);
static void trigger(struct tevent_req *req, void *private_data)
struct juststruct *priv = tevent_req_callback_data (req, struct juststruct);
struct foo_state *in = tevent_req_data(req, struct foo_state);
struct timeval schedule;
struct tevent_timer *tim;
schedule = tevent_timeval_current_ofs(1, 0);
printf("Processing request #%d\n", in->x);
if (in->x % 3 == 0) { // just example; third request does not contain
// any further operation and will be finished right
// away.
tim = NULL;
} else {
tim = tevent_add_timer(priv->ev, req, schedule, timer_handler, req);
if (tim == NULL) {
printf("Request #%d set as done.\n", in->x);
struct tevent_req *foo_send(TALLOC_CTX *mem_ctx, struct tevent_context *ev,
const char *name, int num)
struct tevent_req *req;
struct foo_state *state;
struct foo_state *in;
struct tevent_timer *tim;
req = tevent_req_create(mem_ctx, &state, struct foo_state);
if (req == NULL) { // check for appropriate allocation
return NULL;
// exemplary filling of variables
state->local_var = 1;
state->x = num;
return req;
static void foo_done(struct tevent_req *req) {
enum tevent_req_state state;
uint64_t err;
if (tevent_req_is_error(req, &state, &err)) {
printf("ERROR WAS SET %d\n", state);
} else {
// processing some stuff
printf("Callback is done...\n");
int main (int argc, char **argv)
TALLOC_CTX *mem_ctx;
struct tevent_req* req[6];
struct tevent_req* tmp;
struct tevent_context *ev;
struct tevent_queue *fronta = NULL;
struct juststruct *data;
int ret;
int i = 0;
const char * const names[] = {
"first", "second", "third", "fourth", "fifth"
mem_ctx = talloc_new(NULL); //parent
ev = tevent_context_init(mem_ctx);
if (ev == NULL) {
fprintf(stderr, "MEMORY ERROR\n");
// setting up queue
fronta = tevent_queue_create(mem_ctx, "test_queue");
if (tevent_queue_running(fronta)) {
printf ("Queue is runnning (length: %d)\n", tevent_queue_length(fronta));
} else {
printf ("Queue is not runnning\n");
data = talloc(ev, struct juststruct);
data->ctx = mem_ctx;
data->ev = ev;
// create 4 requests
for (i = 1; i < 5; i++) {
req[i] = foo_send(mem_ctx, ev, names[i], i);
tmp = req[i];
if (req[i] == NULL) {
fprintf(stderr, "Request error! %d \n", ret);
tevent_req_set_callback(req[i], foo_done, data);
// add item to a queue
tevent_queue_add(fronta, ev, req[1], trigger, data);
tevent_queue_add(fronta, ev, req[2], trigger, data);
tevent_queue_add(fronta, ev, req[3], trigger, data);
tevent_queue_add(fronta, ev, req[4], trigger, data);
printf("Queue length: %d\n", tevent_queue_length(fronta));
while(tevent_queue_length(fronta) > 0) {
printf("Queue: %d items left\n", tevent_queue_length(fronta));