Introduction to C++11 Thread Library

Original C++ Standard supported only single thread programming. The new C++ Standard (referred to as C++11 or C++0x) was published in 2011. In C++11 a new thread library is introduced.

Compilers Required:  
Linux: gcc 4.8.1 (Complete Concurrency support)
Windows: Visual Studio 2012 and MingW

How to compile on Linux: g++ –std=c++11 sample.cpp -lpthread

Thread Creation in C++11

In every C++ application there is one default main thread i.e. main() function. In C++ 11 we can create additional threads by creating objects of std::thread class.
Each of the std::thread object can be associated with a thread.

Header Required : <thread>

What this std::thread object will execute ?

We can attach a callback with the std::thread object, that will be executed when this new thread starts. These callbacks can be,

1.) Function Pointer
2.) Function Objects
3.) Lambda functions

Thread objects can be created like this,

std::thread thObj(<CALLBACK>);

New Thread will start just after the creation of new object and will execute the passed callback in parallel to thread that has started it.
Moreover, any thread can wait for another to exit by calling join() function on that thread’s object.

Lets look at an example where main thread will create a separate thread. After creating this new thread, main thread will print some data on console and then wait for newly created thread to exit.

Lets implement above using three different callback mechanism,

Creating a thread using Function Pointer,

Creating a thread using Function Objects,

Creating a thread using Lambda functions,

Differentiating between threads

Each of the std::thread object has an associated ID and we can fetch using,

Member function, gives id of associated thread object,
Gives the identifier for the current thread,

If std::thread object does not have an associated thread then get_id() will return a default constructed std::thread::id object i.e. “not any thread.”

std::thread::id is a Object, it can be compared and printed on console too.
Lets look at an example,

Other C++11 Multi-threading Tutorials,

C++11 Multi-threading Part 2: Joining and Detaching Threads

C++11 Multi-threading Part 3: Passing Arguments to Threads

C++11 Multi-threading Part 4: Sharing Data & Race Conditions

C++11 Multi-threading Part 5: Fixing Race Conditions using mutex

C++11 Multi-threading Part 6: Need of Event Handling

C++11 Multi-threading Part 7: Using Condition Variables to do Event Handling between threads

C++11 Multi-threading Part 8: std::future and std::promise