The Threading Module in Python

The newer threading module included with Python 2.4 provides much more powerful, high-level support for threads than the thread module discussed in the previous section.

The threading module exposes all the methods of the thread module and provides some additional methods −

  • threading.activeCount() − Returns the number of thread objects that are active.
  • threading.currentThread() − Returns the number of thread objects in the caller's thread control.
  • threading.enumerate() − Returns a list of all thread objects that are currently active.

In addition to the methods, the threading module has the Thread class that implements threading. The methods provided by the Thread class are as follows −

  • run()  − The run() method is the entry point for a thread.
  • start()  − The start() method starts a thread by calling the run method.
  • join([time])  − The join() waits for threads to terminate.
  • isAlive()  − The isAlive() method checks whether a thread is still executing.
  • getName()  − The getName() method returns the name of a thread.
  • setName()  − The setName() method sets the name of a thread.

Creating Thread Using Threading Module

To implement a new thread using the threading module, you have to do the following −

  • Define a new subclass of the Thread class.
  • Override the __init__(self [,args]) method to add additional arguments.
  • Then, override the run(self [,args]) method to implement what the thread should do when started.

Once you have created the new Thread subclass, you can create an instance of it and then start a new thread by invoking the start(), which in turn calls run() method.


import threading
import time
exitFlag = 0
class myThread (threading.Thread):
   def __init__(self, threadID, name, counter):
      self.threadID = threadID = name
      self.counter = counter
   def run(self):
      print "Starting " +
      print_time(, 5, self.counter)
      print "Exiting " +
def print_time(threadName, counter, delay):
   while counter:
      if exitFlag:
      print "%s: %s" % (threadName, time.ctime(time.time()))
      counter -= 1
# Create new threads
thread1 = myThread(1, "Thread-1", 1)
thread2 = myThread(2, "Thread-2", 2)
# Start new Threads
print "Exiting Main Thread"

When the above code is executed, it produces the following result −

Starting Thread-1
Starting Thread-2
Exiting Main Thread
Thread-1: Thu Mar 21 09:10:03 2013
Thread-1: Thu Mar 21 09:10:04 2013
Thread-2: Thu Mar 21 09:10:04 2013
Thread-1: Thu Mar 21 09:10:05 2013
Thread-1: Thu Mar 21 09:10:06 2013
Thread-2: Thu Mar 21 09:10:06 2013
Thread-1: Thu Mar 21 09:10:07 2013
Exiting Thread-1
Thread-2: Thu Mar 21 09:10:08 2013
Thread-2: Thu Mar 21 09:10:10 2013
Thread-2: Thu Mar 21 09:10:12 2013
Exiting Thread-2

Updated on: 31-Jan-2020

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