Multi-client Icons: Macbook Pro – jasonrm, Server – visualpharm.

Handling multiple clients in Java is relatively easy and painless compared to C for example. This is because Java hides a lot of the complexities of writing your application to make use of multiple threads. Basically all that needs to be written is a class, ClientHandler say, the implements Runnable and handles the client. ClientHandler‘s constructor takes the client Socket as an input, so that it has something to act upon. And, the run() method does whatever needs to be done (i.e. reading and writing to the Socket) and then close()s the Socket. ClientHandler Implementation


public class ClientHandler implements Runnable {
	Socket socket;
	PrintStream out;

	ClientHandler(Socket s) {
		socket = s;

	public void run() {

		try {
			out = new PrintStream(socket.getOutputStream());
		} catch (IOException e) {
			System.out.println("PrintStream Error");


		try {
		} catch (IOException e) {
			System.out.println("Failed to close, oddly...");

This particular implementation of ClientHandler just writes ‘Hello’ to the Socket and close()s. And just for completeness here is an implementation of a Server that uses ClientHandler:


public class Server {
	static ServerSocket socket;
	static int port = 7999;

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		try {
			socket = new ServerSocket(port);
			System.out.println("Bound to port: " + port);
		} catch (IOException e) {
			System.out.println("Cannot bind to port: " + port);

		while (true) {
			try {
				Socket s = socket.accept();
				System.out.println("New Client: "+s.getInetAddress().toString());
				(new Thread(new ClientHandler(s))).start();
			} catch (IOException e) {
				System.out.println("Failed to accept client");

To test this Server you can use telnet (telnet 7999) or in your favourite browser goto ‘http://localhost:7999/’ the result should be just a line to text ‘Hello’ assuming you have the Server running.

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    hi, what if i have 3 clients connected to the server, how can i read and write only to a specific client/only two clients?


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