vb6 - How to use a mutex in Visual Basic


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I have imported the kernel32 library. So, I have the createMutex function available but I am not quite sure of the various parameters and return values.

This is classic Visual Basic, not Visual Basic.NET but I can probably work with either language in the form of an answer.


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  • Beryl Lee
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    The VB code looks something like this:

    hMutex = CreateMutex(ByVal 0&, 1, ByVal 0&)
    

    The first parameter is a pointer to an SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES structure. If you don't know what it is, you don't need it. Pass NULL (0).

    The second parameter is TRUE (non-zero, or 1) if the calling thread should take ownership of the mutex. FALSE otherwise.

    The third parameter is the mutex name and may be NULL (0), as shown. If you need a named mutex, pass the name (anything unique) in. Not sure whether the VB wrapper marshals the length-prefixed VB string type (BSTR) over to a null-terminated Ascii/Unicode string if not, you'll need to do that and numerous examples are out there.

    Good luck!


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    Here's the VB6 declarations for CreateMutex - I just copied them from the API viewer, which you should have as part of your VB6 installation. VB6 marshalls strings to null-terminated ANSI using the current code page.

    Public Type SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES
       nLength As Long
       lpSecurityDescriptor As Long
       bInheritHandle As Long 
    End Type
    
    Public Declare Function CreateMutex Lib "kernel32" Alias "CreateMutexA" _
       (lpMutexAttributes As SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES, ByVal bInitialOwner As Long, _
        ByVal lpName As String) As Long
    

    Bear in mind that if you create a mutex from the VB6 IDE, the mutex belongs to the IDE and won't be destroyed when you stop running your program - only when you close the IDE.


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    Well, based on the documentation it looks like:

    1. Security attributes (can pass null)
    2. Whether it's initially owned (can pass false)
    3. The name of it

    HTH