Java Creating a Thread

Java defines two ways by which a thread can be created.

  • By implementing the Runnable interface.
  • By extending the Thread class.

Implementing the Runnable Interface

The easiest way to create a thread is to create a class that implements the runnable interface. After implementing runnable interface , the class needs to implement the run() method, which is of form,

public void run()
  • run() method introduces a concurrent thread into your program. This thread will end when run() returns.
  • You must specify the code for your thread inside run() method.
  • run() method can call other methods, can use other classes and declare variables just like any other normal method.
class mythread implements Runnable
  public void run()
    System.out.println("thread is running...");  
public static void main(String args[]){  
mythread m1=new mythread();  
Thread t1 =new Thread(m1);  
thread is running...

To call the run() method, start() method is used. On calling start(), a new stack is provided to the thread and run() method is called to introduce the new thread into the program.

Extending Thread class

This is another way to create a thread by a new class that extends Thread class and create an instance of that class. The extending class must override run() method which is the entry point of new thread.


class MyThread extends Thread
 public void run()
  System.out.println("Concurrent thread started running..");

 public static void main( String args[] )
  MyThread fl = new  MyThread();
concurrent thread started running..

In this case also, as we must override the run() and then use the start() method to start and run the thread. Also, when you create MyThread class object, Thread class constructor will also be invoked, as it is the super class, hence MyThread class object acts as Thread class object.

Commonly used methods of Thread class:

  1. public void run(): is used to perform action for a thread.
  2. public void start(): starts the execution of the thread.JVM calls the run() method on the thread.
  3. public void sleep(long miliseconds): Causes the currently executing thread to sleep (temporarily cease execution) for the specified number of milliseconds.
  4. public void join(): waits for a thread to die.
  5. public void join(long miliseconds): waits for a thread to die for the specified miliseconds.
  6. public int getPriority(): returns the priority of the thread.
  7. public int setPriority(int priority): changes the priority of the thread.
  8. public String getName(): returns the name of the thread.
  9. public void setName(String name): changes the name of the thread.
  10. public Thread currentThread(): returns the reference of currently executing thread.
  11. public int getId(): returns the id of the thread.
  12. public Thread.State getState(): returns the state of the thread.
  13. public boolean isAlive(): tests if the thread is alive.
  14. public void yield(): causes the currently executing thread object to temporarily pause and allow other threads to execute.
  15. public void suspend(): is used to suspend the thread(depricated).
  16. public void resume(): is used to resume the suspended thread(depricated).
  17. public void stop(): is used to stop the thread(depricated).
  18. public boolean isDaemon(): tests if the thread is a daemon thread.
  19. public void setDaemon(boolean b): marks the thread as daemon or user thread.
  20. public void interrupt(): interrupts the thread.
  21. public boolean isInterrupted(): tests if the thread has been interrupted.
  22. public static boolean interrupted(): tests if the current thread has been interrupted.

Difference between start() and run() methods

start() methods only schedules the thread for execution and not actually begins the execution of the thread. The execution of the thread is started when the JVM calls the run() method of the thread once the CPU Scheduler picks this scheduled thread for execution.

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