Append not thread-safe?

Issue

I noticed that if I tried appending to a slice using goroutines inside a for loop, there would be instances where I would get missing/blank data:

destSlice := make([]myClass, 0)

var wg sync.WaitGroup
for _, myObject := range sourceSlice {
    wg.Add(1)
    go func(closureMyObject myClass) {
        defer wg.Done()
        var tmpObj myClass
        tmpObj.AttributeName = closureMyObject.AttributeName
        destSlice = append(destSlice, tmpObj)
    }(myObject)
}
wg.Wait()

Sometimes, when I print all AttributeNames from destSlice, some elements are empty strings (""), and other times, some elements from sourceSlice are not present in destSlice.

Does my code have a data race, and does this mean that append is not thread-safe for concurrent use by multiple goroutines?

Solution

In Go no value is safe for concurrent read/write, slices (which are slice headers) are no exception.

Yes, your code has data races. Run with the -race option to verify.

Example:

type myClass struct {
    AttributeName string
}
sourceSlice := make([]myClass, 100)

destSlice := make([]myClass, 0)

var wg sync.WaitGroup
for _, myObject := range sourceSlice {
    wg.Add(1)
    go func(closureMyObject myClass) {
        defer wg.Done()
        var tmpObj myClass
        tmpObj.AttributeName = closureMyObject.AttributeName
        destSlice = append(destSlice, tmpObj)
    }(myObject)
}
wg.Wait()

Running it with

go run -race play.go

Output is:

==================
WARNING: DATA RACE
Read at 0x00c420074000 by goroutine 6:
  main.main.func1()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:20 +0x69

Previous write at 0x00c420074000 by goroutine 5:
  main.main.func1()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:20 +0x106

Goroutine 6 (running) created at:
  main.main()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:21 +0x1cb

Goroutine 5 (running) created at:
  main.main()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:21 +0x1cb
==================
==================
WARNING: DATA RACE
Read at 0x00c42007e000 by goroutine 6:
  runtime.growslice()
      /usr/local/go/src/runtime/slice.go:82 +0x0
  main.main.func1()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:20 +0x1a7

Previous write at 0x00c42007e000 by goroutine 5:
  main.main.func1()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:20 +0xc4

Goroutine 6 (running) created at:
  main.main()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:21 +0x1cb

Goroutine 5 (running) created at:
  main.main()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:21 +0x1cb
==================
==================
WARNING: DATA RACE
Write at 0x00c420098120 by goroutine 80:
  main.main.func1()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:20 +0xc4

Previous write at 0x00c420098120 by goroutine 70:
  main.main.func1()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:20 +0xc4

Goroutine 80 (running) created at:
  main.main()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:21 +0x1cb

Goroutine 70 (running) created at:
  main.main()
      /home/icza/gows/src/play/play.go:21 +0x1cb
==================
Found 3 data race(s)
exit status 66

Solution is simple, use a sync.Mutex to protect writing the destSlice value:

var (
    mu        = &sync.Mutex{}
    destSlice = make([]myClass, 0)
)

var wg sync.WaitGroup
for _, myObject := range sourceSlice {
    wg.Add(1)
    go func(closureMyObject myClass) {
        defer wg.Done()
        var tmpObj myClass
        tmpObj.AttributeName = closureMyObject.AttributeName
        mu.Lock()
        destSlice = append(destSlice, tmpObj)
        mu.Unlock()
    }(myObject)
}
wg.Wait()

You could also solve it in other ways, e.g. you could use a channel on which you’d send the value to be appended, and have a designated goroutine receiving from this channel and do the append.

Answered By – icza

Answer Checked By – Timothy Miller (GoLangFix Admin)

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