View Full Version : Difference Between Mutex and Binary Semaphore

05-18-2005, 11:40 AM
Please tell me the differences between mutex and binary semaphores.
If possible, pls give the scenarios where a mutex and binary semaphore are used.

05-18-2005, 12:36 PM
hmm ... kind of offtopic ( try to search 4 it in a OS book )

11-16-2005, 12:11 PM
accocrding to me a mutex is a binary lock which can be acquired only once , it has the capability to handle the Priority inversion, while semaphore may be of incrementng or decrimenting and ca be acuired by more than 2 task at the same time while mutex cant be taken by more than 2 tasks

10-15-2007, 07:08 PM
Its hard to figure out the difference between mutex and a binary semaphore till you get into the implementation details of both these.

Basically, a mutex attribute (structure) will have a field called ownership information, i.e.: the PID (process ID) of the process which is waiting on it, whereas binary semaphore implementation lacks ownership information.

This means that if there are 2 processes 'A' & 'B' sharing a mutex and if 'A' locks (waits on) the mutex, only A will be able to release the mutex, whereas if it would have been a binary semaphore, even process 'B' can accidentally release (signal) the mutex.

Apart from this, mutex is heavy weight and binary semaphore is light weight (speaking in UNIX lingo)...