#locking #mutex #memory #partial-eq #access #pool


No per-object memory overhead locks. Pseudo atomic ops for Copy/PartialEq types.

21 releases (7 stable)

new 2.1.0 Jul 2, 2024
1.2.2 Jan 9, 2024
1.1.0 Mar 2, 2023
1.0.0 Jul 1, 2022
0.5.0 Mar 14, 2022

#101 in Concurrency

Download history 7/week @ 2024-03-14 5/week @ 2024-03-28 1/week @ 2024-04-04 248/week @ 2024-06-27

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ShardedMutex, atomic Everything

This library provides global locks for (pseudo-) atomic access to data without memory overhead per object. Concurrency is improved by selecting a Mutex from a pool based on the Address of the object to be locked.

There is one pool of mutexes per guarded type, thus it is possible to lock values of different types at the same time.

  • Being sharded, these Mutexes act still as global and non-recursive locks. One must not lock() another object while a lock on the same type/domain is already hold, otherwise deadlocks will happen. The try_lock() and try_lock_for() methods do not have this limitation but will fail when the lock is already hold.
  • The multi_lock() methods allow to obtain locks on multiple objects of the same type at the same time.
  • The then_lock() method implements hand-over-hand locking where the lock of a new object is obtained before an lock already hold is dropped.

Same types may have different locking domains using type tags.

Provides pseudo atomic access for types that implement Copy and PartialEq. These can never deadlock because they are always leaf locks.

In debug builds a deadlock detector is active which will panic when one tries to lock objects from the same type/domain while already holding a lock.

Example usage:

use sharded_mutex::ShardedMutex;

// create 2 values that need locking
let x = ShardedMutex::new(123);
let y = ShardedMutex::new(234);

// a single lock
assert_eq!(*x.lock(), 123);

// Multiple locks
let mut guards = ShardedMutex::multi_lock([&x, &y]);

assert_eq!(*guards[0], 123);
assert_eq!(*guards[1], 234);

// can write as well
*guards[1] = 456;

// unlocks

// lock again
assert_eq!(*y.lock(), 456);

// Pseudo atomic access
use sharded_mutex::PseudoAtomicOps;

assert_eq!(x.load(), 234);

let mut swapping = 345;
x.swap(&mut swapping);
assert_eq!(swapping, 234);
assert_eq!(x.load(), 345);

assert!(!x.compare_and_set(&123, &456));
assert!(x.compare_and_set(&345, &456));
assert_eq!(x.load(), 456);



ShardedMutex using arrays of mutexes for locking objects. This would pack Mutexes for unrelated objects pretty close together which in turn impacts performance because of false cache sharing. To alleviate this problem the internal aligment of these mutexes can be increased. The cost for this is a larger memory footprint.


Packs Mutexes as tight as possible. Good for embedded systems that have only little caches or none at all and memory is premium.


This is the default, it places 8 Mutexes per cacheline which should be a good compromise between space and performance.


Places 4 mutexes per cacheline, should improve performance even further. Probably only necessary when its proven that there is cache contention.


Places one mutex per cacheline. This should give the best performance without any cache contention, on the cost of wasting memory.

Pool Sizes

Locking performs best when there is little contention on the mutexes. We do this by sharding accesses over pools of mutexes. The size of these pools can be adjusted to the expected number of threads that will access the mutexes concurrently. The pool sizes are mersenne-prime numbers for spreading the load evenly over the mutexes.


Mutex pools have 127 entries. This should be good enough for most applications. This is the default.


Mutex pools have 31 entries. This may serverly limit concurrency. Use it only when memory is at premium (embedded) or only few threads try to lock objects.


Mutex pools have 8191 entries. To be used for massively concurrent systems with many cores where hundreds to thousands of threads locking objects concurrently.


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