When to use pthread_exit() and when to use pthread_join() in Linux?

As explained in the openpub documentations,

pthread_exit() will exit the thread that calls it.

In your case since the main calls it, main thread will terminate whereas your spawned threads will continue to execute. This is mostly used in cases where the
main thread is only required to spawn threads and leave the threads to do their job

will suspend execution of the thread that has called it unless the target thread terminates

This is useful in cases when you want to wait for thread/s to terminate before further
processing in main thread.

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