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What is the difference between a process and a thread?

Process vs Thread in Java

Image clarifies the difference between Process and Thread. However lets discuss it point by point.

Process
A process has a self-contained execution environment. An instance of program called Process.

  • Each Process has its own address space.
  • Process have to use Inter Process Communication (IPC) resource like pipes and sockets to communicate with other process.
  • New processes require duplication of the parent process.
  • Processes have considerable overhead.
  • Process have their own copy of data segment of the parent process.
  • Process have control over its child processes.
  • Any change in the parent process does not affect child processes.
  • Process is controlled by the operating system.
  • Processes are independent.

Thread
Threads are sometimes called lightweight processes. It runs within the Process.

  • Thread(s) shares the address space of Process that created it.
  • Threads can directly communicate with other Threads of its process.
  • New threads can be created easily.
  • Threads have almost no overhead.
  • Threads have direct access to data segment of its Process.
  • Threads have considerable control over threads of the same process.
  • Any change in main thread (cancellation, priority change, etc...) may affect the behavior of the other threads of the process.
  • Threads are controlled by programmer in a program.
  • Threads are dependent.