Threading Model

The threading model in Camel is based on a pluggable reactive routing engine, and thread pools from the JDK concurrency API.

This page focuses on thread pools. Camel leverages thread pools in several places such as:

  • Several EIP patterns support using thread pools for concurrency

  • SEDA component for asynchronous connectivity

  • Threads EIP in Camel routes

  • Some components use thread pools out of the box, such as JMS or Jetty

Thread pool profiles

By default, when a thread pool is to be created by Camel, then the pool configuration is based upon a profile, the default thread pool profile

The default profile is pre-configured out of the box with the following settings:

Option Default Description



Sets the default core pool size (threads to keep minimum in pool)



Sets the default keep alive time (in seconds) for inactive threads



Sets the default maximum pool size



Sets the default maximum number of tasks in the work queue. Use -1 for an unbounded queue.



Sets default whether to allow core threads to timeout



Sets the default handler for tasks which cannot be executed by the thread pool. Has four options: Abort, CallerRuns, Discard, DiscardOldest which corresponds to the same four options provided out of the box in the JDK.

What that means is that for example when you use Multicast with parallelProcessing=true enabled, then it would create a thread pool based on the profile above.

You can define as many thread pool profiles as you like. But there must be only one default profile. A custom thread pool profile will inherit from the default profile. Which means that any option you do not explicit define will fallback and use the option from the default profile.

Configuring default thread pool profile

In Spring XML you can configure thread pool profile with threadPoolProfile as shown:

<threadPoolProfile id="defaultThreadPoolProfile"

And in Java DSL

ThreadPoolProfile profile = camelContext.getExecutorServiceManager().getDefaultThreadPoolProfile();

And with camel-main, Spring Boot or Quarkus you can configure this in the|yaml file:

## configure default thread pool profile
camel.threadpool.pool-size = 5
camel.threadpool.max-pool-size = 5

Using thread pool profiles

Suppose you want to use a custom thread pool profile for a Multicast EIP pattern in a Camel route you can do it using the executorServiceRef attribute as shown in Spring XML:


    <threadPoolProfile id="fooProfile"
                       poolSize="20" maxPoolSize="50" maxQueueSize="-1"/>

       <multicast aggregationStrategy="myStrategy" executorServiceRef="fooProfile">

What Camel will do at runtime is to lookup in the Registry for a ExecutorService with the id fooProfile. If none found it will fallback and see if there is a ThreadPoolProfile defined with that id. In this example there is a profile, so the profile is used as base settings for creating a new ExecutorService which is handed back to the Multicast EIP to use in the Camel route.

In Java DSL you can use ThreadPoolProfileBuilder to create a profile and then register the profile:

ThreadPoolProfileBuilder builder = new ThreadPoolProfileBuilder("fooProfile");


Creating custom thread pools

You can also use the <threadPool> tag in Spring XML to create a specific thread pool (ExecutorService). Notice that any options you do not explicit define, will have Camel to use the default thread pool profile as fallback. For example if you omit setting the maxQueueSize then Camel will fallback and use the value from the default thread pool profiles, which by default is 1000.

Customizing thread names

On the ExecutorServiceManager you can configure the thread name pattern using the setThreadNamePattern method, which defines the thread names used when a thread pool creates a thread.

The default pattern is:

Camel (#camelId#) thread ##counter# - #name#

In the pattern you can use the following placeholders

  • #camelId# - The CamelContext name

  • #counter# An unique incrementing counter

  • #name# - The thread name

  • #longName# - The long thread name which can include endpoint parameters etc.

In Spring XML the pattern can be set with threadNamePattern attribute as shown:

<camelContext threadNamePattern="Riding the thread #counter#">
    <from uri="seda:start"/>
    <to uri="log:result"/>
    <to uri="mock:result"/>

In Java DSL you can set the pattern as follows:

CamelContext camel = ...
camel.getExecutorServiceManager().setThreadNamePattern("Riding the thread #counter#")

And with camel-main, Spring Boot or Quarkus you can configure this in the|yaml file:

## camel-main or quarkus
camel.main.thread-name-pattern = Riding the thread #counter#

## spring boot
camel.springboot.thread-name-pattern = Riding the thread #counter#

Shutting down thread pools

All thread pools created by Camel will be properly shutdown when CamelContext shutdowns which ensures no leaks in the pools in case you run in a server environment with hot deployments and the likes.

The ExecutorServiceManager has APIs for shutting down thread pools gracefully and aggressively. It is encouraged to use this API for creating and shutting down thread pools.

The method shutdownGraceful(executorService) from ExecutorServiceManager will shutdown graceful at first, until a timeout value is hit. After that it shuts down aggressively, again using the timeout value to wait for the operation to complete. This means you can wait at most 2 x timeout for shutting down the thread pool.

The timeout value is by default 10000 millis. You can configure a custom value on the ExecutorServiceManager if needed. During shutdown Camel will log every 2 seconds at INFO level progress of shutting down the thread pool. For example in case a shutdown takes a while, then there is activity in the logs.

The APIs on ExecutorServiceManager that is related to shutting down a thread pool is as follows:

Method Description


Marks the thread pool as shutdown (like calling the ExecutorService.shutdown() method).


Forces the thread pool to shut down now (like calling the ExecutorService.shutdownNow() method).


Marks the thread pool as shutdown, and graceful shutdown the pool, by waiting for tasks to complete. A default timeout value of 10 sec is used, before shutdown becomes aggressive using shutdownNow, forcing threads to shut down quicker.


As shutdownGraceful but with custom timeout value


To wait graceful for the termination of a thread pool (eg to wait for its tasks to complete). Will wait until all tasks are completed or timed out.

JMX Management

All the thread pools that Camel creates are managed and thus you can see them in JXM under the threadpools tree.

This requires to enabled JMX by including camel-management JAR in the classpath.

Component developers

If you develop your own Camel component and are in need of a thread pool, then its advised to use the ExecutorServiceStrategy/ExecutorServiceManager to create the thread pool you need.


Camel provides a pluggable strategy to hook in your own thread pool provider, for example from a WorkManager in a J2EE server etc.
See the org.apache.camel.spi.ExecutorServiceStrategy interface which you should implement and hook into the WorkManager.


To hook in custom thread pool providers (e.g. for J2EE servers) a ThreadPoolFactory interface can be implemented. The implementation can be set in the ExecutorServiceManager.

Virtual Threads

Starting from Java 21, the default ThreadPoolFactory can build ExecutorService and ScheduledExecutorService that use virtual threads instead of platform threads. But as it is an experimental feature, it is not enabled by default, you need to set the System property camel.threads.virtual.enabled to true and run Camel using Java 21 or above to enable it.

Be aware that even if it is enabled, there are some use cases where platform threads are still used, for example, if the thread factory is configured to create non-daemon threads since virtual threads can only be daemons, or when the ExecutorService or ScheduledExecutorService to build cannot have more than one thread or finally when corePoolSize is set to zero and maxQueueSize is set to a value less or equal to 0.