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(This is the documentation for SDL3, which is under heavy development and the API is changing! SDL2 is the current stable version!)


Create a new read/write lock.


SDL_RWLock* SDL_CreateRWLock(void);

Return Value

Returns the initialized and unlocked read/write lock or NULL on failure; call SDL_GetError() for more information.


A read/write lock is useful for situations where you have multiple threads trying to access a resource that is rarely updated. All threads requesting a read-only lock will be allowed to run in parallel; if a thread requests a write lock, it will be provided exclusive access. This makes it safe for multiple threads to use a resource at the same time if they promise not to change it, and when it has to be changed, the rwlock will serve as a gateway to make sure those changes can be made safely.

In the right situation, a rwlock can be more efficient than a mutex, which only lets a single thread proceed at a time, even if it won't be modifying the data.

All newly-created read/write locks begin in the unlocked state.

Calls to SDL_LockRWLockForReading() and SDL_LockRWLockForWriting will not return while the rwlock is locked for writing by another thread. See SDL_TryLockRWLockForReading() and SDL_TryLockRWLockForWriting() to attempt to lock without blocking.

SDL read/write locks are only recursive for read-only locks! They are not guaranteed to be fair, or provide access in a FIFO manner! They are not guaranteed to favor writers. You may not lock a rwlock for both read-only and write access at the same time from the same thread (so you can't promote your read-only lock to a write lock without unlocking first).


This function is available since SDL 3.0.0.


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