Implement Runnable vs Extend Thread in Java

Java Programming Java 8Object Oriented Programming

We can create Thread by either by implementing a runnable interface or by extending Thread class. Below are the detailed steps of using both ways to create Thread.

Create a Thread by Implementing a Runnable Interface

If your class is intended to be executed as a thread then you can achieve this by implementing a Runnable interface. You will need to follow three basic steps −

Step 1

As a first step, you need to implement a run() method provided by a Runnable interface. This method provides an entry point for the thread and you will put your complete business logic inside this method. Following is a simple syntax of the run() method −

public void run( )

Step 2

As a second step, you will instantiate a Thread object using the following constructor −

Thread(Runnable threadObj, String threadName);

Where, threadObj is an instance of a class that implements the Runnable interface and threadName is the name given to the new thread.

Step 3

Once a Thread object is created, you can start it by calling start() method, which executes a call to run( ) method. Following is a simple syntax of start() method −

void start();

Example

 Live Demo

Here is an example that creates a new thread and starts running it −

class RunnableDemo implements Runnable {
   private Thread t;
   private String threadName;

   RunnableDemo( String name) {
      threadName = name;
      System.out.println("Creating " + threadName );
   }

   public void run() {
      System.out.println("Running " + threadName );
      try {
         for(int i = 4; i > 0; i--) {
            System.out.println("Thread: " + threadName + ", " + i);

            // Let the thread sleep for a while.
            Thread.sleep(50);
         }
      } catch (InterruptedException e) {
         System.out.println("Thread " + threadName + " interrupted.");
      }
      System.out.println("Thread " + threadName + " exiting.");
   }

   public void start () {
      System.out.println("Starting " + threadName );
      if (t == null) {
         t = new Thread (this, threadName);
         t.start ();
      }
   }
}

public class TestThread {
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      RunnableDemo R1 = new RunnableDemo( "Thread-1");
      R1.start();

      RunnableDemo R2 = new RunnableDemo( "Thread-2");
      R2.start();
   }
}

This will produce the following result −

Output

Creating Thread-1
Starting Thread-1
Creating Thread-2
Starting Thread-2
Running Thread-1
Thread: Thread-1, 4
Running Thread-2
Thread: Thread-2, 4
Thread: Thread-1, 3
Thread: Thread-2, 3
Thread: Thread-1, 2
Thread: Thread-2, 2
Thread: Thread-1, 1
Thread: Thread-2, 1
Thread Thread-1 exiting.
Thread Thread-2 exiting.

Create a Thread by Extending a Thread Class

The second way to create a thread is to create a new class that extends Thread class using the following two simple steps. This approach provides more flexibility in handling multiple threads created using available methods in Thread class.

Step 1

You will need to override run( ) method available in Thread class. This method provides an entry point for the thread and you will put your complete business logic inside this method. Following is a simple syntax of run() method −

public void run( )

Step 2

Once Thread object is created, you can start it by calling start() method, which executes a call to run( ) method. Following is a simple syntax of start() method −

void start( );

Example

Here is the preceding program rewritten to extend the Thread −

 Live Demo

class ThreadDemo extends Thread {
   private Thread t;
   private String threadName;

   ThreadDemo( String name) {
      threadName = name;
      System.out.println("Creating " + threadName );
   }

   public void run() {
      System.out.println("Running " + threadName );
      try {
         for(int i = 4; i > 0; i--) {
            System.out.println("Thread: " + threadName + ", " + i);
            // Let the thread sleep for a while.
            Thread.sleep(50);
         }
      } catch (InterruptedException e) {
         System.out.println("Thread " + threadName + " interrupted.");
      }
      System.out.println("Thread " + threadName + " exiting.");
   }

   public void start () {
      System.out.println("Starting " + threadName );
      if (t == null) {
         t = new Thread (this, threadName);
         t.start ();
      }
   }
}

public class TestThread {

   public static void main(String args[]) {
      ThreadDemo T1 = new ThreadDemo( "Thread-1");
      T1.start();

      ThreadDemo T2 = new ThreadDemo( "Thread-2");
      T2.start();
   }
}

This will produce the following result −

Output

Creating Thread-1
Starting Thread-1
Creating Thread-2
Starting Thread-2
Running Thread-1
Thread: Thread-1, 4
Running Thread-2
Thread: Thread-2, 4
Thread: Thread-1, 3
Thread: Thread-2, 3
Thread: Thread-1, 2
Thread: Thread-2, 2
Thread: Thread-1, 1
Thread: Thread-2, 1
Thread Thread-1 exiting.
Thread Thread-2 exiting.
raja
Published on 19-Sep-2018 11:00:02
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