mutex — mutex module

The mutex module is used for creating mutexes.

class Mutex – mutex object

A mutex is an object enabling threads of execution to protect critical sections of code from reentrancy or to temporarily protect critical data sets from being updated by other threads. The term “mutex” derives from the notion of mutual exclusion. A mutex usually provides three methods:

lock() (POSIX pthread_mutex_lock): wait until the mutex is free, then lock it
unlock() (POSIX pthread_mutex_unlock): Immediate return. unlock the mutex.
test() (POSIX pthread_mutex_trylock): Immediate return. test if it is locked.

In this implementation lock and unlock is controlled by a context manager.

In the context of MicroPython a mutex provides a mechanism where an interrupt service routine (ISR) can test whether the main loop was using critical variables at the time the interrupt occurred, and if so avoid modifying those variables. Typical usage:

import pyb, mutex
mutex = mutex.Mutex()
data_ready = False

def callback(): # Timer or interrupt callback
    global data_ready
    if mutex.test():
        data_ready = True
        # Update critical variables
        # defer any update
# Associate callback with device (pin or timer)

while True:
    # code
    if data_ready:
        with mutex:
            data_ready = False
            # Access critical variables
    # more code

Note that the with statement will execute immediately because no other process runs a with block on the same mutex instance.

Linux man page

References describing mutex and semaphore objects


class mutex.Mutex

Creates an unlocked mutex object.



Unlock the mutex.


Try to acquire the mutex in a non-blocking way. Return True on success and False on failure.

You may also acquire the mutex in a blocking way by using with.