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    1.0.1 • Public • Published


    This addon provides a Node.js interface to the SunOS contract(4) subsystem. This documentation assumes that you are familiar with the contract(4), process(4), and device_contract(4) documentation.

    Quick Start

    var contract = require('illumos_contract');
    var util = require('util');
    var child_process = require('child_process');
    var ct;
    var child;
    var tmpl = {
    	type: 'process',
    	critical: {
    		pr_empty: true,
    		pr_hwerr: true
    	informative: {
    		pr_exit: true,
    		pr_core: true
    	param: {
    		noorphan: true
    	cookie: '0xdeadbeef`
    child = child_process.spawn('/usr/sbin/rpcbind');
    ct = contract.latest();
    console.log(util.inspect(ct.status(), null, true));
    ct.on('pr_empty', function (ev) {
    	console.log(util.inspect(ev, null, true));
    	console.log('contract ' + ev.ctid + ' has emptied');
    	console.log(util.inspect(ct.status(), null, true));
    	ct = null;

    Creating Contracts

    There are 4 ways to create a new contract visible to your process:

    • adopt an existing contract
    • observe an existing contract without adopting it
    • fetch the latest contract created by a fork(2) or open(2)
    • explicitly create a device contract

    The latter two mechanisms require that a template be active.

    The public interfaces for performing these actions are as follows:

    contract.adopt([Number] ctid)

    Adopt the specified contract, as for ct_ctl_adopt(3contract).

    contract.observe([Number] ctid)

    Observe, without adopting, the specified contract. This is analogous to opening only the event descriptor associated with the contract and watching it for events as via ctwatch(1). Contracts created in this manner cannot be subsequently adopted, abandoned, or otherwise modified.

    contract.set_template([Object] template)

    Create and activate a template with the specified attributed. The template object's properties correspond to those that may be set by ct_tmpl_set_*, including those properties specific to the contract type. The type field, which is not such an attribute, is required and must be one of process or device. The template provided completely replaces any existing active template of the same type.

    contract.create() [ or open, fork, etc. ]

    contract.create() is analogous to and uses ct_tmpl_create(3contract). Following such a contract creation, the contract created may be accessed via a call to contract.latest(). Note that this function is useful only for device contracts. One may also create device contracts by setting a template, then opening a device minor node. Process contracts can be created only by setting a template, then performing a fork(2) such as via child_process functionality.


    Returns an object of type Contract with methods described below. The contract returned represents the most recently created contract. Note that if you set a template, perform an action that instantiates a contract, then set another template and perform another contract-instantiating action prior to calling contract.latest(), the first contract created cannot be retrieved unless its ctid becomes known through some alternate mechanism. It is also likely that such a calling sequence will result in resource leaks.


    Remove any active contract templates. Following this call, actions that would instantiate a new contract or add members to an existing contract will instead behave normally.


    The observe(), adopt(), and latest() methods return an object of type Contract, with the following methods:


    Returns an object with fields corresponding to the attributes accessible via a ct_stathdl_t from ct_status_read(3contract), including those which are specific to the contract type. Flags fields are represented as embedded objects with one boolean property per flag.


    Abandon the contract. This is analogous to, and uses, ct_ctl_abandon(3contract). Note that although the contract is abandoned, resources associated with the contract object are not released, and events may still be received for this contract.


    Free resources associated with the contract. When this call returns, all file descriptors associated with the contract will be closed, no further events will be generated on this contract, and the contract will be eligible for garbage collection once it is no longer referenced by consumers.

    Contract.ack([String] evid)

    See ct_ctl_ack(3contract).

    Contract.nack([String] evid)

    See ct_ctl_nack(3contract).

    Contract.qack([String] evid)

    See ct_ctl_qack(3contract).

    Contract Events

    Contract objects inherit from Node.js's events.EventEmitter; they emit events whenever the underlying contract generates an informative, critical, or fatal event. Within the event callback, critical and fatal events must be acknowledged. The event names correspond to those specified by contract(4), process(4), and device_contract(4), lower-cased with CT_ and EV_ removed; e.g., pr_empty. These event names are also used when passing event sets within template and status objects.

    Destruction of Contracts

    A contract that has been broken, whether as part of a negotiated transition or because of a fatal asynchronous event, becomes invalid. It is the responsibility of the listener(s) to ensure that it can subsequently be cleaned up by a call to dispose(). Similarly, a contract that has been abandoned, even if destroyed by the system, cannot be garbage collected by the Node.js runtime until the consumer calls dispose() and discards all its references to that Contract object. The effect of invoking methods other than those to remove event listeners is undefined for Contract objects that have been dispose()d. The effect of invoking methods other than dispose() and those that remove event listeners is undefined for Contract objects for which all listeners have been notified of a fatal event. There is no explicit mechanism to discard the native ContractBinding object itself.

    Implementation Notes

    Contract creation is done via the contract_binding._new() mechanism, as follows:

    • contract_binding._new(<ctid>) observes an existing contract.
    • contract_binding._new(<ctid>, true) adopts an existing contract.
    • contract_binding._new() returns the last contract created.

    contract_binding._create() explicitly creates a device contract from the active template but does not return it; use contract_binding._new() afterward to obtain the newly-created contract.

    contract_binding._new() returns a native object of type ContractBinding. This native object, and any other properties of contract or Contract whose keys begin with the underscore (_) character, should not be read, replaced, removed, or modified by consumers.

    Note that there is currently no support for writing a new contract to replace one that has been broken via negotiation or an asynchronous device state change (analogous to ct_ctl_newct(3contract)). Otherwise it should be possible to access all public functionality of the contract subsystem for both device and process contracts.






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