multithreading stop - Get a List of all Threads currently running in Java

kill number (11)

Is there any way I can get a list of all the running Threads in the current JVM (including the Threads NOT started by my class)?

Is it also possible to get the Thread and Class objects of all Thread in the list?

I want to be able to do this through code.


Apache commons users can use ThreadUtils. The current implementation uses the walk the thread group approach previously outlined.

for (Thread t : ThreadUtils.getAllThreads()) {
      System.out.println(t.getName() + ", " + t.isDaemon());

To get an iterable set:

Set<Thread> threadSet = Thread.getAllStackTraces().keySet();

In the java console, hit Ctrl-Break. It will list all threads plus some information about the heap. This won't give you access to the objects of course. But it can be very helpful for debugging anyway.

Have you taken a look at jconsole?

This will list all threads running for a particular Java process.

You can start jconsole from the JDK bin folder.

You can also get a full stack trace for all threads by hitting Ctrl+Break in Windows or by sending kill pid --QUIT in Linux.

Code snippet to get list of threads started by main thread:

import java.util.Set;

public class ThreadSet {
    public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception{
        for ( int i=0; i< 3; i++){
            Thread t = new Thread(new MyThread());
        Set<Thread> threadSet = Thread.getAllStackTraces().keySet();
        for ( Thread t : threadSet){
            if ( t.getThreadGroup() == Thread.currentThread().getThreadGroup()){
                System.out.println("Thread :"+t+":"+"state:"+t.getState());

class MyThread implements Runnable{
    public void run(){
        }catch(Exception err){


Thread :Thread[MyThread:2,5,main]:state:TIMED_WAITING
Thread :Thread[MyThread:0,5,main]:state:TIMED_WAITING
Thread :Thread[MyThread:1,5,main]:state:TIMED_WAITING
Thread :Thread[ThreadSet,5,main]:state:RUNNABLE

If you need all threads including system threads, which have not been started by your program, remove below condition.

if ( t.getThreadGroup() == Thread.currentThread().getThreadGroup())

Now output:

Thread :Thread[MyThread:2,5,main]:state:TIMED_WAITING
Thread :Thread[Reference Handler,10,system]:state:WAITING
Thread :Thread[MyThread:1,5,main]:state:TIMED_WAITING
Thread :Thread[ThreadSet,5,main]:state:RUNNABLE
Thread :Thread[MyThread:0,5,main]:state:TIMED_WAITING
Thread :Thread[Finalizer,8,system]:state:WAITING
Thread :Thread[Signal Dispatcher,9,system]:state:RUNNABLE
Thread :Thread[Attach Listener,5,system]:state:RUNNABLE

Get a handle to the root ThreadGroup, like this:

ThreadGroup rootGroup = Thread.currentThread().getThreadGroup();
ThreadGroup parentGroup;
while ((parentGroup = rootGroup.getParent()) != null) {
    rootGroup = parentGroup;

Now, call the enumerate() function on the root group repeatedly. The second argument lets you get all threads, recursively:

Thread[] threads = new Thread[rootGroup.activeCount()];
while (rootGroup.enumerate(threads, true ) == threads.length) {
    threads = new Thread[threads.length * 2];

Note how we call enumerate() repeatedly until the array is large enough to contain all entries.

In Groovy you can call private methods

// Get a snapshot of the list of all threads 
Thread[] threads = Thread.getThreads()

In Java, you can invoke that method using reflection provided that security manager allows it.

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        // Walk up all the way to the root thread group
        ThreadGroup rootGroup = Thread.currentThread().getThreadGroup();
        ThreadGroup parent;
        while ((parent = rootGroup.getParent()) != null) {
            rootGroup = parent;

        listThreads(rootGroup, "");

    // List all threads and recursively list all subgroup
    public static void listThreads(ThreadGroup group, String indent) {
        System.out.println(indent + "Group[" + group.getName() + 
                ":" + group.getClass()+"]");
        int nt = group.activeCount();
        Thread[] threads = new Thread[nt*2 + 10]; //nt is not accurate
        nt = group.enumerate(threads, false);

        // List every thread in the group
        for (int i=0; i<nt; i++) {
            Thread t = threads[i];
            System.out.println(indent + "  Thread[" + t.getName() 
                    + ":" + t.getClass() + "]");

        // Recursively list all subgroups
        int ng = group.activeGroupCount();
        ThreadGroup[] groups = new ThreadGroup[ng*2 + 10];
        ng = group.enumerate(groups, false);

        for (int i=0; i<ng; i++) {
            listThreads(groups[i], indent + "  ");

It means that the standard now defines multi-threading, and it defines what happens in the context of multiple threads. Of course, people used varying implementations, but that's like asking why we should have a std::string when we could all be using a home-rolled string class.

When you're talking about POSIX threads or Windows threads, then this is a bit of an illusion as actually you're talking about x86 threads, as it's a hardware function to run concurrently. The C++0x memory model makes guarantees, whether you're on x86, or ARM, or MIPS, or anything else you can come up with.

java multithreading jvm