How to kill threading.Thread instance?

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at
Sun Sep 21 17:04:57 CEST 2008

Diez B. Roggisch wrote:

>> I wonder why something like myThread.exit() or myThread.quit() or
>> threading.kill(myThread) can't be implemented?
>> Is something like that present in Python 3000?
> Not that I'm aware of it (which doesn't mean to much though).
> However I *am* aware of the bazillions discussions that have been held 
> over this here - and the short answer is: it is a generally very bad 
> idea to terminate threads hard, as it can cause all kinds of corruption.

the problem is that you have no idea what the thread is doing, so just 
killing it dead it may make one big mess out of the application's 
internal state; see e.g. this post

   That's wise ;-)  Stopping a thread asynchronously is in /general/ a
   dangerous thing to do, and for obvious reasons.  For example, perhaps
   the victim thread is running in a library routine at the time the
   asynch exception is raised, and getting forcibly ejected from the
   normal control flow leaves a library-internal mutex locked forever.
   Or perhaps a catch-all "finally:" clause in the library manages to
   release the mutex, but leaves the internals in an inconsistent state.

which links to a FAQ from Sun on this very topic:

(note that Java releases all mutexes when a thread is killed, but that's 
not much better, as the FAQ explains)

so as usual, the right thing to do is to do things in the right way.


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