20+ Difference between Thread and Process

An operating system’s processes are similar to running applications. It’s a piece of code now being run on a computer.

Everything from the process stack and registers to the actual code and program counter is part of this. However, a thread is a lightweight process that can be managed autonomously with the aid of a scheduler. While displaying its own counter, registers, stack, etc.,

It communicates with other threads regarding data segments, files, code segments, etc. Despite their common use, process, and thread have distinct meanings and characteristics.

Comparison Between Thread And Process

DefinitionA thread is a logical sub-process that executes instructions. Multiple threads may run concurrently inside a single process. During concurrent programming, it serves as the basic unit of operation. Threads are small and autonomous enough to be controlled by a scheduler. You may use parallelism to boost application performance with its support.Executing a program results in the computer doing what it was told to do. It’s the basic building block where software is put into action. The OS provides assistance in spawning, scheduling, and killing off processes that the CPU executes. Child processes are subprocesses that are spawned by a parent process.
Termination timeThis is, by a significant margin and margin of victory, the absolute best moment, at any point in time, either in the past or in the future, to bring this conversation to a close.In the not-too-distant future, it will be essential to carry out the procedure for a little longer than it is. An additional period of time, slightly longer than the original, is being granted.
Context switchingThe amount of time that is required to move between various contexts in a suitable way is considerably reduced as a result of this development, which is another benefit of the progress.It is vital to allow oneself some time to acclimate to new surroundings after relocating to a new location before going on to the next spot. Before going on to the next location, this task has to be completed. This assignment has to be completed in its entirety before moving on to the next location.
EfficiencyUtilizing the thread as a way of sharing information is by far the most time- and the resource-efficient decision that can be taken compared to the other methods of communication currently accessible.This strategy is pointless since it utilizes a different format, which prohibits it from correctly transmitting the information to the receiver as it should. As a direct result of this, the information cannot be sent efficiently. The receiver will not be able to get the information promptly under any circumstances.
Multi-programIt is not required to have numerous applications running in parallel since different threads may dwell happily inside the confines of a single process. This obviates the need to have many programs running in parallel. This reduces the need to multitask, which is convenient.When you participate in multiprogramming, you can discover that the ideas related to various processes are rolled into one another to produce a new process. This happens because multiprogramming combines several different processes into a single one.

Major Difference Between Thread And Process

What exactly is Thread?

The term “thread” refers to the smallest possible subset of a process. The scheduler handles each thread in a process separately. It’s impossible to separate the several processes inside a single one.

Data segments, code segments, files, and other resources are all things that threads often share with one another. Nonetheless, it has its own registers, stack, and counter.

Key Difference: Thread

  • Nevertheless, a thread’s file segment, code segment, data segment, and segments are all distinct from one and one another. 
  • It is possible for various threads that are participating in the same process to communicate with one another. A thread shares its heap and registers with what produces it.
  • It is possible to utilize a single system call to initiate the creation of several threads in a program simultaneously. 
  • Threads that are part of the same process may interact with one another and exchange information via various means. 
  • Some of these methods include shared memory, events (including wait and notify), and synchronization primitives (such as locks and semaphores). 
  • You will learn how a single-threaded process and a multi-threaded process share memory in their separate settings by referring to the image that is included in this article. 
  • A single program may be split up into several threads, each of which is in charge of a separate activity inside the larger program as a whole. 
  • Threads can be responsible for a variety of tasks. Throughout the entirety of a program, each individual thread makes use of the same memory address area.

What exactly is Process?

Simply put, a process is a single instance of an operating system or application. When we launch an application, it does not begin executing immediately.

When a program is run, it is executed by going through a series of steps, which is a process that can take some time.

To accomplish more than one thing at once, one process can duplicate itself by creating a “clone” or “child” process, while the original process is referred to as the “parent.”

Key Difference: Process

  • When a process is started, its address space is created, and all of the components of that address space, including the data segment, are all parts of that address space. 
  • It is not possible for two separate processes to speak with one another and directly transfer data since there is no mechanism for doing so. 
  • It is common practice to use inter-process communication, also known as IPC, which is an abbreviation for “Inter-Process Communication.” 
  • This is done to improve communication between various activities. This reduces the need for processes to communicate with one another by exchanging data. 
  • When an operation on a computer is required, a system call begins the process of doing that operation. 
  • When utilizing a computer system with shared memory, many processes can access the same section of memory simultaneously. 
  • By reading and writing to the queue, processes may exchange information with one another in a message queue. 
  • System calls are the mechanism that makes it possible for separate processes to communicate with one another.

Contrast Between Thread And Process


  • Thread – The individual running the process and the process itself may simultaneously have numerous threads inside it. A thread may be in any one of these three states at any one time: Running, Ready, or Blocked.

    However, in contrast to processes, threads do not carry out their work in an isolated environment and may thus be terminated more quickly than processes.
  • Process – To put it simply, processes are the computer programs that are sent to the CPU’s execution queue after being put into the ready state. The idea of a process is stored in a PCB (Process Control Block).

    Whenever a process forks off into what is called “Child Processes,” we’re talking about a new process. Since the process runs in isolation, its termination is delayed, and it does not have access to the shared memory of other processes.


  • Thread – Even though the operating system is never truly touched at any point of the process, a kernel interrupt is produced every time a thread is moved.

    This is because each time a thread is switched, a new context is created for the thread that was just switched. This is done to ensure the operation goes off without a hitch.

    This is because the formation of a new thread takes place whenever the switching of an existing thread takes place.
  • Process – By using the graphical user interface (GUI), which is something that is often made accessible by an operating system, it is possible to transition between processes in a manner that is both clearer and simpler to comprehend. This is made possible by the fact that it is feasible.

Changes in the process:

  • Thread – Any alterations that are made to the main thread have the ability to affect the behavior of other threads that are contained inside the same process.

    This is because each thread contributes to the same larger process. This is because all the threads inside a process share the same address space and other resources.
  • Process – The child processes reliant on the parent process will not be affected in any way by the modifications made to the parent process.

    Because they are dependent on the parent process, these child processes will continue to function properly even after the adjustments have been made to the parent process.


  • Thread – Each thread uses a shared address space, stack, and thread control block in addition to the main control block (PCB) provided by the threads that serve as its parents.

    The threads, which might be thought of as the PCB’s parents, are the ones who provide it. This is done in an attempt to conserve the resources that are already accessible.
  • Process – Every single process has its own Process Control Block, Stack, and Address Space, which it utilizes to carry out the activities necessary to run correctly.

    These are the three components that make up a process’s stack. The Process Control Block may be broken down into three distinct parts outlined below.


  • Thread – When a program begins running, the operating system gives it access to a certain amount of RAM and other system resources. Threads inside a process only interact with the shared memory and resources of that process.

    In most cases, threads are employed to speed up the operation of an app. Although only a single thread is ever operated at a time, this illusion of parallel processing is created by the rapid change of contexts across threads.
  • Process – After the program has been translated into binary code, it is loaded into the computer’s memory. Operating system memory and other resources are needed to execute a program.

    The OS supplies the necessary hardware resources, such as registers, a program counter, and a stack. Instructions, storage addresses, and other process-critical information may all be stored in registers. A program counter keeps track of where things are in the code.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Do several threads work at the same time?

Processes comprise components known as threads, each of which may operate in parallel. A single process may include several threads, and all of those threads will share the same memory space, which is the process’s memory area that created them.

Because of this, the code that will be run and all of the variables that have been defined in the program will be shared by all of the threads.

Q2. Explain why the process is a better use of resources than the thread.

Each thread makes use of the RAM that is associated with the process to which it belongs. Because each process has its own unique memory address, communication between processes is painfully slow.

It is possible that communication between threads within the same process is significantly faster than communication between processes. This is because threads within the same process share memory with the process to which they belong.

Q3. Is it at all conceivable for a process to have no threads at all?

It is possible for a process to have zero, one, or more single-threaded apartments, but it is also possible for the process to possess just one or no multi-threaded apartments.

That being the case, the total number of apartments would amount to zero if both the number of multi-threaded apartments and the number of single-threaded apartments could be 0.

Q4. What steps are included in the threading process?

A program that is being run is an example of a process in its most basic form. Within the process context, one or more threads will be running.

The fundamental component to which the operating system allows time on the CPU is known as a thread. Any code component that makes up the process may be performed by a thread, even if another thread executes that code.

Q5. Where does a thread get its beginning?

The root is the lowest point of the groove that runs between the two flanking surfaces of the thread, regardless of whether the thread is located internally or externally.

The straight edges that link a thread’s crest to its root are referred to as the flanks of the thread. The angle of a thread is determined by measuring, in an axial plane segment, the angle that exists between the flanks.

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