Java Basics

What is the difference between a thread and process? Get to know right here…

Under Java basics, today we will be learning about the real difference between process and a thread.

So, Without wasting any time, we will proceed with the topic…



In short, a process is nothing but a program that is executing a piece of code.


A thread happens to be an independent path of execution, within a process. A process can have multiple threads.

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Points of difference:

– Communication:

Threads of the same process can directly communicate with each other. Numerous programming languages e.g. Java is known to offer tools to facilitate inter-thread communication. It’s substantially less expensive as compared to the inter-process communication, which turns out to be costly and restricted.

– Creation:

Newer threads can be created with ease e.g. in Java, a new Thread can be created by creating an object belonging to the Thread class and giving a call to the start() method on it, while the new process needs duplication of the parent process.

– Memory address:

All threads within the same process share the same memory space of the process that created it, then again, each process has their own particular address space.

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– Data Segment:

A direct access is available to the threads as far as data segment specific to its process are concerned, on the other hand, an individual process has their own particular copy of the parent process’s data segment.

– Overhead:

Threads tend to possess lesser overhead contrasted with Process as far as metadata, context switch and memory and CPU requirement.

– Existence:

The existence of a thread is not possible without a process. In addition, a process, at the minimum, has a solitary thread to carry out the job. For instance, main thread in case of Java programs

– Behavior:

Alterations to the parent thread e.g. priority, the daemon may influence the conduct of the other threads of that process, yet changes to the parent process don’t have an effect on the child process.

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– Context Switching:

As all of the threads from one process share the same address space, context switching and inter-thread communication between them are substantially quicker than inter-process communication and context switching between the process.

These happen to be some of the fundamental points of differences between a thread and a process. It is expected that every programmer knows this.