FreeBSD kernel提供两种mutexspin mutexsleep mutex(下列内容摘自 FreeBSD Device Drivers):

Spin Mutexes
Spin mutexes are simple spin locks. If a thread attempts to acquire a spin lock that is being held by another thread, it will “spin” and wait for the lock to be released. Spin, in this case, means to loop infinitely on the CPU. This spinning can result in deadlock if a thread that is holding a spin lock is interrupted or if it context switches, and all subsequent threads attempt to acquire that lock. Consequently, while holding a spin mutex all interrupts are blocked on the local processor and a context switch cannot be performed.

Spin mutexes should be held only for short periods of time and should be used only to protect objects related to nonpreemptive interrupts and low- level scheduling code (McKusick and Neville-Neil, 2005). Ordinarily, you’ll never use spin mutexes.

Sleep Mutexes
Sleep mutexes are the most commonly used lock. If a thread attempts to acquire a sleep mutex that is being held by another thread, it will context switch (that is, sleep) and wait for the mutex to be released. Because of this behavior, sleep mutexes are not susceptible to the deadlock described above.

Sleep mutexes support priority propagation. When a thread sleeps on a sleep mutex and its priority is higher than the sleep mutex’s current owner, the current owner will inherit the priority of this thread (Baldwin, 2002). This characteristic prevents a lower priority thread from blocking a higher priority thread.

NOTE Sleeping (for example, calling a *sleep function) while holding a mutex is never safe and must be avoided; otherwise, there are numerous assertions that will fail and the kernel will panic.

使用spin mutex时,为了防止deadlock,要把local cpu关中断并且不能进行context switch。通常情况下,应该使用sleep mutex。另外要注意,获得mutex的线程不能sleep,否则会导致kernel panic

此外,还有shared/exclusive locks

Shared/exclusive locks (sx locks) are locks that threads can hold while asleep. As the name implies, multiple threads can have a shared hold on an sx lock, but only one thread can have an exclusive hold on an sx lock. When a thread has an exclusive hold on an sx lock, other threads cannot have a shared hold on that lock.

sx locks do not support priority propagation and are inefficient com- pared to mutexes. The main reason for using sx locks is that threads can sleep while holding one.

reader/writer locks

Reader/writer locks (rw locks) are basically mutexes with sx lock semantics. Like sx locks, threads can hold rw locks as a reader, which is identical to a shared hold, or as a writer, which is identical to an exclusive hold. Like mutexes, rw locks support priority propagation and threads cannot hold them while sleeping (or the kernel will panic).

rw locks are used when you need to protect an object that is mostly going to be read from instead of written to.

shared/exclusive locksreader/writer locks语义类似,但有以下区别:拥有shared/exclusive locks的线程可以sleep,但不支持priority propagation;拥有reader/writer locks的线程不可以sleep,但支持priority propagation