- About Process & Thread of Operating System -

  A process is a program in execution. It is the unit of work in a modern operating system. A process is an active entity with a program counter specifying the next instructions to execute and a set of associated resources. It also includes the process stack, containing temporary data and a data section containing global variables.

A thread otherwise called a lightweight process (LWP) is a basic unit of CPU utilization, it comprises of a thread id, a program counter, a register set and a stack. It shares with other threads belonging to the same process its code section, data section, and operating system resources such as open files and signals.


  • Thread can do anything a process can do. 
  • Thread could be considered a ‘lightweight’ process.
  • Threads are used for small tasks.
  • Threads share the address of the process.
  • Threads have direct access to the data segment of the process.


  • Process consists of single/multiple threads.
  • Processes are used for more ‘heavyweight’ tasks, basically the execution of applications.
  • Processes have own data and the data segment of the parent process.
  • Processes have their own address.
  • Processes have considerable overhead.

                Lets try this to understand with an example. Children are playing with lego toys, they are planing to make an beautiful architecture. Through a process they can build it.

                And the thread is one of the kids are making one of the parts of the architecture. Here each kid is a thread of the process. Each kid's/thread's objective is to do a particular task to complete the architecture/process. 

Thanks to,

http://www.differencebetween.net/ | http://www.slideshare.net/ | http://www.wikipedia.org/

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