GlobalScope

object GlobalScope : CoroutineScope

A global CoroutineScope not bound to any job. Global scope is used to launch top-level coroutines which are operating on the whole application lifetime and are not cancelled prematurely.

Active coroutines launched in GlobalScope do not keep the process alive. They are like daemon threads.

This is a delicate API. It is easy to accidentally create resource or memory leaks when GlobalScope is used. A coroutine launched in GlobalScope is not subject to the principle of structured concurrency, so if it hangs or gets delayed due to a problem (e.g. due to a slow network), it will stay working and consuming resources. For example, consider the following code:

fun loadConfiguration() {
GlobalScope.launch {
val config = fetchConfigFromServer() // network request
updateConfiguration(config)
}
}

A call to loadConfiguration creates a coroutine in the GlobalScope that works in background without any provision to cancel it or to wait for its completion. If a network is slow, it keeps waiting in background, consuming resources. Repeated calls to loadConfiguration will consume more and more resources.

Possible replacements

In many cases uses of GlobalScope should be removed, marking the containing operation with suspend, for example:

suspend fun loadConfiguration() {
val config = fetchConfigFromServer() // network request
updateConfiguration(config)
}

In cases when GlobalScope.launch was used to launch multiple concurrent operations, the corresponding operations shall be grouped with coroutineScope instead:

// concurrently load configuration and data
suspend fun loadConfigurationAndData() {
coroutinesScope {
launch { loadConfiguration() }
launch { loadData() }
}
}

In top-level code, when launching a concurrent operation operation from a non-suspending context, an appropriately confined instance of CoroutineScope shall be used instead of a GlobalScope. See docs on CoroutineScope for details.

GlobalScope vs custom scope

Do not replace GlobalScope.launch { ... } with CoroutineScope().launch { ... } constructor function call. The latter has the same pitfalls as GlobalScope. See CoroutineScope documentation on the intended usage of CoroutineScope() constructor function.

Legitimate use-cases

There are limited circumstances under which GlobalScope can be legitimately and safely used, such as top-level background processes that must stay active for the whole duration of the application's lifetime. Because of that, any use of GlobalScope requires an explicit opt-in with @OptIn(DelicateCoroutinesApi::class), like this:

// A global coroutine to log statistics every second, must be always active
@OptIn(DelicateCoroutinesApi::class)
val globalScopeReporter = GlobalScope.launch {
while (true) {
delay(1000)
logStatistics()
}
}

Properties

coroutineContext
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common
open override val coroutineContext: CoroutineContext

Sources

common source
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