Programming Tutorials

A simple Thread sample in Java

By: Henry in Java Tutorials on 2007-09-08  

The easiest way to create a thread is to create a class that implements the Runnable interface. The second way to create a thread is to create a new class that extends Thread, and then to create an instance of that class. The extending class must override the run() method, which is the entry point for the new thread. It must also call start() to begin execution of the new thread. Here is the preceding program rewritten to extend Thread:

// Create a second thread by extending Thread
class NewThread extends Thread {
    NewThread() {
        // Create a new, second thread
        super("Demo Thread");
        System.out.println("Child thread: " + this);
        start(); // Start the thread

    // This is the entry point for the second thread.
    public void run() {
        try {
            for (int i = 5; i > 0; i--) {
                System.out.println("Child Thread: " + i);
        } catch (InterruptedException e) {
            System.out.println("Child interrupted.");
        System.out.println("Exiting child thread.");

class ExtendThread {
    public static void main(String args[]) {
        new NewThread(); // create a new thread
        try {
            for (int i = 5; i > 0; i--) {
                System.out.println("Main Thread: " + i);
        } catch (InterruptedException e) {
            System.out.println("Main thread interrupted.");
        System.out.println("Main thread exiting.");

This program generates the following output:

Child thread: Thread[Demo Thread,5,main]
Main Thread: 5
Child Thread: 5
Child Thread: 4
Main Thread: 4
Child Thread: 3
Child Thread: 2
Main Thread: 3
Child Thread: 1
Exiting child thread.
Main Thread: 2
Main Thread: 1
Main thread exiting.

Notice the call to super() inside NewThread. This invokes the following form of the Thread constructor:

public Thread(String threadName)

Here, threadName specifies the name of the thread.

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