pthread_detach man page

pthread_detach — detach a thread


#include <pthread.h>

int pthread_detach(pthread_t thread);

Compile and link with -pthread.


The pthread_detach() function marks the thread identified by thread as detached. When a detached thread terminates, its resources are automatically released back to the system without the need for another thread to join with the terminated thread.

Attempting to detach an already detached thread results in unspecified behavior.

Return Value

On success, pthread_detach() returns 0; on error, it returns an error number.



thread is not a joinable thread.


No thread with the ID thread could be found.


For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface Attribute Value
pthread_detach() Thread safety MT-Safe

Conforming to

POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.


Once a thread has been detached, it can't be joined with pthread_join(3) or be made joinable again.

A new thread can be created in a detached state using pthread_attr_setdetachstate(3) to set the detached attribute of the attr argument of pthread_create(3).

The detached attribute merely determines the behavior of the system when the thread terminates; it does not prevent the thread from being terminated if the process terminates using exit(3) (or equivalently, if the main thread returns).

Either pthread_join(3) or pthread_detach() should be called for each thread that an application creates, so that system resources for the thread can be released. (But note that the resources of all threads are freed when the process terminates.)


The following statement detaches the calling thread:


See Also

pthread_attr_setdetachstate(3), pthread_cancel(3), pthread_create(3), pthread_exit(3), pthread_join(3), pthreads(7)


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Referenced By

pthread_attr_setdetachstate(3), pthread_create(3), pthread_join(3), pthreads(7).

2015-07-23 Linux Programmer's Manual