How to pause and resume goroutine?

Issue

I am trying to pause and resume groutine. I understand I can sleep the run, but I am looking for is like a button “pause/resume” rather than a timer.

Here is my attempt. I am using the blocking feature of channel to pause, and select to switch what to execute based on channel value. However, the output is always Running in my case.

func main() {
    ctx := wctx{}
    go func(ctx wctx) {
        for {
            time.Sleep(1 * time.Second)
            select {
            case <-ctx.pause:
                fmt.Print("Paused")
                <-ctx.pause
            case <-ctx.resume:
                fmt.Print("Resumed")
            default:
                fmt.Print("Running \n")
            }
        }
    }(ctx)

    ctx.pause <- struct{}{}
    ctx.resume <- struct{}{}
}

type wctx struct {
    pause  chan struct{}
    resume chan struct{}
}

Solution

A select with multiple ready cases chooses one pseudo-randomly. So if the goroutine is “slow” to check those channels, you might send a value on both pause and resume (assuming they are buffered) so receiving from both channels could be ready, and resume could be chosen first, and in a later iteration the pause when the goroutine should not be paused anymore.

For this you should use a “state” variable synchronized by a mutex. Something like this:

const (
    StateRunning = iota
    StatePaused
)

type wctx struct {
    mu    sync.Mutex
    state int
}

func (w *wctx) SetState(state int) {
    w.mu.Lock()
    defer w.mu.Unlock()
    w.state = state
}

func (w *wctx) State() int {
    w.mu.Lock()
    defer w.mu.Unlock()
    return w.state
}

Testing it:

ctx := &wctx{}
go func(ctx *wctx) {
    for {
        time.Sleep(1 * time.Millisecond)
        switch state := ctx.State(); state {
        case StatePaused:
            fmt.Println("Paused")
        default:
            fmt.Println("Running")
        }
    }
}(ctx)

time.Sleep(3 * time.Millisecond)
ctx.SetState(StatePaused)
time.Sleep(3 * time.Millisecond)
ctx.SetState(StateRunning)
time.Sleep(2 * time.Millisecond)

Output (try it on the Go Playground):

Running
Running
Running
Paused
Paused
Paused
Running
Running

Answered By – icza

Answer Checked By – Timothy Miller (GoLangFix Admin)

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