[R] Trouble with the memory allocation

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Mon Jul 16 17:42:34 CEST 2001

On Mon, 16 Jul 2001, Laurent Gautier wrote:

> Dear R-users,
> I am currently facing what appears to be a strange thing (at least to my
> humble understanding).
> If  I understood correctly, starting with the version 1.2.3, R memory
> allocation can be done dynamically,
> and there is no need to fiddle with the --nsize and --vsize parameter
> any longer...
> So far this everything seemed to go this way (I saw the size of my
> processes growing when I was using big objects and
> so on). Howver recently I had trouble with the memory. It seems there is
> a limit of about 1,2 Go, beyond which R starts
> to send memory allocation error messages...  not consistent with the
> memory still available
> (like 'Error: cannot allocate vector of size 125382 Kb', while there
> still about 17Go free).

There is an upper limit on the memory size because some internal objects in the memory manager are stored as ints (even on a 64-bit system this  limits you, I think, to 4Gb, but it may be 2Gb).  

It shouldn't be too hard to expand these limits for 64-bit systems. There is a much firmer limit in the design of R to no more than 2^31 objects, and to objects of maximum length 2^31, but this would still allow multigigabyte workspaces.


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