Thread Life cycle Java

Generally, the life cycle gives the same meaning for Servlets, Applets and Threads. Different states, a thread (or applet/servlet) comes under from its object creation to object removal (garbage collection) is known as life cycle of thread (or applet/servlet). There are four main states in the Thread Life cycle.
  1. Born state
  2. Runnable state
  3. Blocked state
  4. Dead state
Bird view of the states

1. Born state (of Thread Life cycle)

Thread t1 = new Thread();

In born state, the thread object is created, occupies memory but is inactive. In the above statement t1 thread is created but is not eligible for microprocessor time as it is inactive. To make the thread active, call start() method on the thread object as t1.start(). This makes the thread active and now eligible for processor time slices. This state can be compared with start() method of applets.

2. Runnable state (of Thread Life cycle)

When the thread is active, the first and foremost job, it does implicitly, is calling run() method. When the thread is executing the run() method, we say, the thread is in runnable state. As it is a callback method, all the code expected to run by the thread, should be written here. In this state, the thread is active. This state can be compared to the paint() method of applets.

3. Blocked state (of Thread Life cycle)

The programmer can make a running thread to become inactive temporarily for some period. In this period (when inactive after starting), the thread is said to be in blocked state. The blocked state thread, as inactive, is not eligible to processor time. This thread can be brought back to the runnable state at any time. A thread can go a number of times from runnable state to blocked state and vice versa in its life cycle. This state can be compared with the stop() method of applets.

4. Dead state (of Thread Life cycle)

When the execution of run() method is over, as the job it is meant is done, it is brought to dead state. It is done implicitly by JVM. In dead state, the thread object is garbage collected. It is the end of the life cycle of thread. Once a thread is removed, it cannot be restarted again (as the thread object does not exist). This state can be compared with destroy() method of applets.

A thread can be killed and brought to dead state, anytime from any state, by calling explicitly stop() method.

Number of ways a thread can be brought to blocked state

A normal running thread can be brought, a number of ways, into blocked state, listed hereunder.

  1. By calling sleep() method.
  2. By calling suspend() method.
  3. When wait() method is called as in synchronization
  4. When an I/O operation is performed, the thread is implicitly blocked by JVM.

IllegalStateException: This exception is thrown when you try to start a thread which is already started. More illustrated with program in IllegalStateException.

14 thoughts on “Thread Life cycle Java”

  1. Hi Sir,
    In your explanation Running state is missing.
    After start the Thread it goes to Runnable state.
    Thread scheduler selects the thread to run.That time thread state is Running.
    In Running state only run() invocation happens not in Runnable state.
    Correct me If I am wrong Sir!!!

  2. Jitesh Vishwakarma

    Hello Sir,
    I have read this Life Cycle of Thread.It is very understandable and clear all my point but i want to know that “If i want to restart my dead thread how can i”

  3. if you use t1.start() then it will create there own stack so it will use the cpu idle time
    and if use use then it will not create there own stack and it will run on main method(parent thread) so this ( will not utilize the cpu idle time
    so we use the start() method to start the thread

  4. sir ji, plz explain difference between and t1.start()?????

    class thread extends Thread{
    public void run()
    System.out.println(“running thread”);
    public static void main(String… s)
    thread t1=new thread();

    1. If you call t1.start(), certain activities that a thread should go through its life cycle will be executed implicitly like garbage collection, calling other life cycle states etc., also when run() executed is over, the thread dies implicitly. If you call explicitly, these activities may hamper.

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