Version 2.9.1

All WT_CONNECTION methods are thread safe, and WT_CONNECTION handles can be shared between threads. Applications typically open a single connection to each database, per process. Multi-threaded programs must wait for all other threads to exit before closing the WT_CONNECTION handle because that will implicitly close all other handles. Alternatively, a thread can set an event handler using WT_CONNECTION::open_session to be notified when a WT_CONNECTION close is in progress.

WT_SESSION and WT_CURSOR methods are not thread safe and WT_SESSION and WT_CURSOR handles cannot be accessed concurrently by multiple threads. Applications typically open one WT_SESSION handle for each thread accessing a database, and then one or more WT_CURSOR handles within the session.

WT_SESSION and WT_CURSOR methods may be accessed by different threads serially (for example, a pool of threads managed by the application with a set of shared session or cursor handles). There is no thread-local state in WiredTiger, and no built-in synchronization of session or cursor handles, either, so if multiple threads access a session or cursor handle, access must be serialized by the application.

WT_ASYNC_OP methods are not thread-safe, and must be accessed by only a single thread at a time. WT_ASYNC_OP methods may be accessed by different threads serially (and that is expected to happen when the asynchronous callback function runs).

Code samples

The code below is taken from the complete example program ex_thread.c.

This is an example of a thread entry point. A new session is opened for the thread and used for all operations within that thread.

void *
scan_thread(void *conn_arg)
WT_CURSOR *cursor;
WT_SESSION *session;
const char *key, *value;
int ret;
conn = conn_arg;
ret = conn->open_session(conn, NULL, NULL, &session);
ret = session->open_cursor(
session, "table:access", NULL, NULL, &cursor);
/* Show all records. */
while ((ret = cursor->next(cursor)) == 0) {
ret = cursor->get_key(cursor, &key);
ret = cursor->get_value(cursor, &value);
printf("Got record: %s : %s\n", key, value);
if (ret != WT_NOTFOUND)
" %s\n", session->strerror(session, ret));
return (NULL);

Here is the main function that starts the threads. It opens a single connection, shared between the threads, and closes the connection after waiting for all of the threads to exit.

WT_SESSION *session;
WT_CURSOR *cursor;
pthread_t threads[NUM_THREADS];
int i, ret;
* Create a clean test directory for this run of the test program if the
* environment variable isn't already set (as is done by make check).
if (getenv("WIREDTIGER_HOME") == NULL) {
home = "WT_HOME";
ret = system("rm -rf WT_HOME && mkdir WT_HOME");
} else
home = NULL;
if ((ret = wiredtiger_open(home, NULL, "create", &conn)) != 0)
fprintf(stderr, "Error connecting to %s: %s\n",
home == NULL ? "." : home, wiredtiger_strerror(ret));
/* Note: further error checking omitted for clarity. */
ret = conn->open_session(conn, NULL, NULL, &session);
ret = session->create(session, "table:access",
ret = session->open_cursor(session, "table:access", NULL,
"overwrite", &cursor);
cursor->set_key(cursor, "key1");
cursor->set_value(cursor, "value1");
ret = cursor->insert(cursor);
ret = session->close(session, NULL);
for (i = 0; i < NUM_THREADS; i++)
ret = pthread_create(&threads[i], NULL, scan_thread, conn);
for (i = 0; i < NUM_THREADS; i++)
ret = pthread_join(threads[i], NULL);
ret = conn->close(conn, NULL);
return (ret == 0 ? EXIT_SUCCESS : EXIT_FAILURE);