Python 2.6's multiprocessing lock not working on second use?

Nick Craig-Wood nick at
Mon Jan 19 10:32:03 CET 2009

Gabriel Genellina <gagsl-py2 at> wrote:
>  En Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:41:21 -0200, escribiste en el grupo
>  gmane.comp.python.general
> > I ran a few tests on the new Python 2.6 multiprocessing module before
> > migrating a threading code, and found out the locking code is not
> > working well. In this case, a pool of 5 processes is running, each
> > trying to get the lock and releasing it after waiting 0.2 seconds
> > (action is repeated twice). It looks like the multiprocessing lock
> > allows multiple locking after the second pass. Running the exact same
> > code with threads works correctly.
>  I've tested your code on Windows and I think the problem is on the Queue
>  class. If you replace the Queue with some print statements or write to a
>  log file, the sequence lock/release is OK.
>  You should file a bug report on

A little bit of instrumentation in the code reveals the problem.  The
Queue class doesn't always return the items in the order that they
were put in.  This should probably be either documented or fixed!  I
suspect it is impossible to fix for a multi-producer Queue though.

The first number is time since the program started.  Tested under linux.

 0.048810 [proc0] Got lock
 0.248679 [proc0] Released lock
 0.248858 [proc0] Got lock
 0.448666 [proc0] Released lock
 0.448859 [proc2] Got lock
 0.648639 [proc2] Released lock
 0.648893 [proc3] Got lock
 0.848633 [proc3] Released lock
 0.848767 [proc3] Got lock
 1.048635 [proc3] Released lock
 1.049090 [proc1] Got lock
 1.248617 [proc1] Released lock
 1.248743 [proc1] Got lock
 1.448634 [proc1] Released lock
 1.448810 [proc4] Got lock
 1.648674 [proc4] Released lock
 1.648831 [proc4] Got lock
 1.849867 [proc2] Got lock        <--- out of order
 1.849679 [proc4] Released lock   <--- out of order
 2.048683 [proc2] Released lock

#!/usr/bin/python -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

from multiprocessing import Process, Queue, Lock
from Queue import Empty
from threading import Thread
import time

start = time.time()
def now():
    return time.time() - start

class test_lock_process(object):
    def __init__(self, lock, id, queue):
        self.lock = lock = id
        self.queue = queue

    def read_lock(self):
        for i in xrange(2):
            self.queue.put('%9.6f [proc%d] Got lock' % (now(),
            self.queue.put('%9.6f [proc%d] Released lock' % (now(),

def test_lock(processes=10, lock=Lock(), process=True, queue=None):
    print_result = False
    if queue == None:
        print_result = True
        queue = Queue()

    threads = []
    for i in xrange(processes):
        if process: threads.append(Process(target=test_lock_process,
        else: threads.append(Thread(target=test_lock_process,

    for t in threads:

    for t in threads:

    if print_result:
            while True: print queue.get(block=False)
        except Empty:

if __name__ == "__main__":
    #test_lock(processes=5, process=True)

Nick Craig-Wood <nick at> --

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