Invoke Tcl_Exit to end a Tcl application and to exit from this process. This procedure is invoked by the exit command, and can be invoked anyplace else to terminate the application. No-one should ever invoke the exit system procedure directly; always invoke Tcl_Exit instead, so that it can invoke exit handlers. Note that if other code invokes exit system procedure directly, or otherwise causes the application to terminate without calling Tcl_Exit, the exit handlers will not be run. Tcl_Exit internally invokes the exit system call, thus it never returns control to its caller. If an application exit handler has been installed (see Tcl_SetExitProc), that handler is invoked with an argument consisting of the exit status (cast to ClientData); the application exit handler should not return control to Tcl.
Tcl_Finalize is similar to Tcl_Exit except that it does not exit from the current process. It is useful for cleaning up when a process is finished using Tcl but wishes to continue executing, and when Tcl is used in a dynamically loaded extension that is about to be unloaded. Your code should always invoke Tcl_Finalize when Tcl is being unloaded, to ensure proper cleanup. Tcl_Finalize can be safely called more than once.
Tcl_ExitThread is used to terminate the current thread and invoke per-thread exit handlers. This finalization is done by Tcl_FinalizeThread, which you can call if you just want to clean up per-thread state and invoke the thread exit handlers. Tcl_Finalize calls Tcl_FinalizeThread for the current thread automatically.
Tcl_CreateExitHandler arranges for proc to be invoked by Tcl_Finalize and Tcl_Exit. Tcl_CreateThreadExitHandler arranges for proc to be invoked by Tcl_FinalizeThread and Tcl_ExitThread. This provides a hook for cleanup operations such as flushing buffers and freeing global memory. Proc should match the type Tcl_ExitProc:
typedef void Tcl_ExitProc( ClientData clientData);
The clientData parameter to proc is a copy of the clientData argument given to Tcl_CreateExitHandler or Tcl_CreateThreadExitHandler when the callback was created. Typically, clientData points to a data structure containing application-specific information about what to do in proc.
Tcl_DeleteExitHandler and Tcl_DeleteThreadExitHandler may be called to delete a previously-created exit handler. It removes the handler indicated by proc and clientData so that no call to proc will be made. If no such handler exists then Tcl_DeleteExitHandler or Tcl_DeleteThreadExitHandler does nothing.
Tcl_Finalize and Tcl_Exit execute all registered exit handlers, in reverse order from the order in which they were registered. This matches the natural order in which extensions are loaded and unloaded; if extension A loads extension B, it usually unloads B before it itself is unloaded. If extension A registers its exit handlers before loading extension B, this ensures that any exit handlers for B will be executed before the exit handlers for A.
Tcl_Finalize and Tcl_Exit call Tcl_FinalizeThread and the thread exit handlers after the process-wide exit handlers. This is because thread finalization shuts down the I/O channel system, so any attempt at I/O by the global exit handlers will vanish into the bitbucket.
Tcl_SetExitProc installs an application exit handler, returning the previously-installed application exit handler or NULL if no application handler was installed. If an application exit handler is installed, that exit handler takes over complete responsibility for finalization of Tcl's subsystems via Tcl_Finalize at an appropriate time. The argument passed to proc when it is invoked will be the exit status code (as passed to Tcl_Exit) cast to a ClientData value.