We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a MUTEX?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A mutual exclusion object, or MUTEX, is an object created for use in computer programs. The essential function of MUTEX is to make it possible for a multiple program thread to make use of a single resource. Generally, the functionality of mutual exclusion objects is to allow this use of a single resource by creating an environment where the access to the resource is continually passed back and forth between the various aspects of the program.

The process of activating and creating a MUTEX takes place when the computer program application is opened. Essentially, the program will create the MUTEX and relate it to a specific resource that is needed for the efficient function of the open program. As the resources is called forth, the operating system will assign a unique name to the MUTEX and use it to identify the process for as long as the program remains open.

Once the MUTEX is activated and named for the session, any other thread of the program that requires this resource can have access, even though the resource is already in active use by another thread. By indicating a need for the resource, the MUTEX function will begin to alternate access of the resource back and forth between the threads. To the end user, this process is transparent. For all practical intents and purposes, it appears that two users or two threads are making us of the same resource simultaneously.

While the speed of the transfer of access is so quick that it is not even noticeable to the end user, it should be noted that whenever a resource is in use, it is effectively locked to the one thread in the sequence. Another thread requiring the use of the resource will issue a request that will go into a queue and remain there until the first thread has finished with the active use. At that point, the resource is unlocked and the MUTEX function allows the next thread in the queue active access. If a third thread is active and needs the resource, MUTEX will also line this thread into the queue and grant access on a rotating basis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.