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Daemon Thread in Java

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Ankit Kochar

In the multifaceted world of Java threading, the concept of Daemon Threads plays a distinctive role. Daemon threads are a special category of threads in Java that run in the background and provide support to non-daemon threads. Unlike user threads, daemon threads do not prevent the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) from exiting when all non-daemon threads have completed their execution. Understanding the nuances of daemon threads is crucial for Java developers seeking to optimize resource management and streamline concurrent programming.
Daemon threads are commonly used for tasks such as garbage collection and other maintenance activities, where they operate silently in the background without obstructing the main execution flow. This introduction explores the significance of daemon threads in Java and sheds light on their pivotal role in creating efficient and responsive applications.

What is Daemon Thread in Java?

Daemon Thread in Java is a special type of thread that runs in the background and provides support to the other threads present in the applications. Daemon Thread in Java is known as the background thread as they run continuously in the background until the application terminates. The Daemon Threads in Java are designed to support the application’s used threads.

The Daemon Thread in Java is given the lowest possible priority and the JVM terminates them automatically when all the user threads have terminated.

Properties of Daemon Thread in Java

The following are some properties of Daemon Thread in Java.

  • It is the lowest-priority thread.
  • They are automatically terminated by the JVM if all other used threads have been terminated.
  • Daemon Thread in Java cannot prevent the JVM from terminating if all other threads have completed their tasks.
  • The JVM does not know the status of the Daemon Thread in Java whether it is active or not.

Now before understanding how to create a Daemon Thread in Java, let’s first discuss the methods for Daemon Thread in Java.

Methods Present for Daemon Thread in Java

The following methods are defined in the Thread Class for Daemon Thread in Java.

  • public void setDaemon(boolean status)
    This method is used for declaring the current thread as a daemon thread or a user thread.

  • public final boolean isDaemon()
    This method returns a boolean value whether the current thread is a Daemon Thread or not.

Example of Daemon Thread in Java

A Daemon Thread in Java is created by implementing the Runnable Interface and passing it to the Thread constructor. For creating a Daemon Thread in Java, we use the setDaemon() method to set the thread’s daemon status before starting the thread. The following code demonstrates the Creation of a Daemon Thread in Java.


class DaemonThread1 extends Thread{ 
   public void run(){ 
            System.out.println("Daemon Thread executing"); 
        } else { 
            System.out.println("User thread excuting"); 
    public static void main(String[] args){ 
        DaemonThread1 t1 = new DaemonThread1();
        DaemonThread1 t2 = new DaemonThread1(); 
        DaemonThread1 t3 = new DaemonThread1(); 


Daemon Thread executing
User thread excuting
User thread excuting

In the above code, we have created a class named “DaemonThread1” that implements the Runnable interface. The run() method contains a code that checks whether the current thread is a Daemon thread or not and prints the statement accordingly.

In the main() method, we created three instances of the class “DaemonThread1”. We then set the Daemon status of the Thread t1 using the setDaemon() method and then we started all threads by using the start() method.

Uses of Daemon Thread in Java

Here are some common uses of the Daemon Thread in Java.

  • The Daemon Thread in Java is quite useful in situations where we need to perform the background processes in a continuous manner.
  • Daemon Thread in Java is also used when an application need to perform maintenance tasks in the background.
  • Daemon threads are also used in some standard Java Classes.

Exceptions in Daemon Thread in Java

The Daemon Thread in Java, if not handled carefully throws exceptions. The following Exceptions are thrown if Daemon Thread is not used in the correct manner.

  • IllegalThreadStateException: This exception is thrown if you call the setDaemon() method on a thread that has already been started.
  • SecurityException: This exception is thrown when the current thread is not able to change the thread.

Difference between User Thread and Daemon Thread in Java

The difference between the User Thread and Daemon Thread in Java are listed in the table given below.

Daemon Thread User Thread
These are low-priority threads. These have higher priority.
Life is dependent on the User Threads. Independent of the life of daemon thread.
Used for background tasks. Used for executing the main tasks of the application.

In conclusion, daemon threads in Java offer a powerful mechanism for managing background tasks and auxiliary operations without impeding the termination of the entire application. Their ability to gracefully execute background activities makes them an invaluable asset for developers aiming to enhance the efficiency and responsiveness of their concurrent programs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to Daemon Thread in Java

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions related to “Daemon Thread in Java”.

Q1: Can a daemon thread prevent an application from terminating?
A1: No, a daemon thread cannot prevent an application from terminating as it is designed to support user threads and does not prevent the application from terminating.

Q2: How are Daemon Threads different from regular threads in Java?
The key difference lies in their impact on the termination of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). When all non-daemon threads complete their execution, the JVM can exit even if daemon threads are still running. Regular threads, on the other hand, prevent the JVM from exiting until they have completed their execution.

Q3: When should I use Daemon Threads in Java?
Daemon threads are suitable for background tasks and maintenance activities that can run independently of the main program. Tasks such as garbage collection, log file processing, or periodic cleanup are common use cases for daemon threads. They are not typically used for critical tasks that must complete before the program exits.

Q4: How do you create a Daemon Thread in Java?
To create a Daemon Thread in Java, set the daemon property of the Thread object to true before starting the thread. For example: Thread myDaemonThread = new Thread(myRunnable); myDaemonThread.setDaemon(true); myDaemonThread.start();

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