Manpages - dispatch_group_create.3

A dispatch group is an association of one or more blocks submitted to dispatch queues for asynchronous invocation. Applications may use dispatch groups to wait for the completion of blocks associated with the group.


function returns a new and empty dispatch group.



functions update the number of blocks running within a group.


function waits until all blocks associated with the

have completed, or until the specified

has elapsed. If the

becomes empty within the specified amount of time, the function will return zero indicating success. Otherwise, a non-zero return code will be returned. When

is passed as the

calls to this function will wait an unlimited amount of time until the group becomes empty and the return value is always zero.


function provides asynchronous notification of the completion of the blocks associated with the

by submitting the

to the specified

once all blocks associated with the

have completed. The system holds a reference to the dispatch group while an asynchronous notification is pending, therefore it is valid to release the

after setting a notification block. The group will be empty at the time the notification block is submitted to the target queue. The group may either be released with

or reused for additional operations.


convenience function behaves like so:

void dispatch_group_async(dispatch_group_t group, dispatch_queue_t queue, dispatch_block_t block) { dispatch_retain(group); dispatch_group_enter(group); dispatch_async(queue, ^{ block(); dispatch_group_leave(group); dispatch_release(group); }); }


function returns NULL on failure and non-NULL on success.


function returns zero upon success and non-zero after the timeout expires. If the timeout is


waits forever and always returns zero.

Dispatch groups are retained and released via calls to




functions are wrappers around



In order to ensure deterministic behavior, it is recommended to call

only once all blocks have been submitted to the group. If it is later determined that new blocks should be run, it is recommended not to reuse an already-running group, but to create a new group.

returns as soon as there are exactly zero

blocks associated with a group (more precisely, as soon as every

call has been balanced by a

call). If one thread waits for a group while another thread submits new blocks to the group, then the count of associated blocks might momentarily reach zero before all blocks have been submitted. If this happens,

will return too early: some blocks associated with the group have finished, but some have not yet been submitted or run.

However, as a special case, a block associated with a group may submit new blocks associated with its own group. In this case, the behavior is deterministic: a waiting thread will

wake up until the newly submitted blocks have also finished.

All of the foregoing also applies to

as well, with “block to be submitted” substituted for “waiting thread”.

Author: dt

Created: 2022-02-20 Sun 14:55