[R] R doesn't use all available memory (Solaris)

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Wed Aug 21 12:06:14 CEST 2002

>>>>> "Paul" == Paul Pavlidis <pp175 at columbia.edu>
>>>>>     on Tue, 20 Aug 2002 18:43:42 -0400 writes:

    Paul> I'm running R 1.5.1 under Solaris 5.8 (i86), 2GB
    Paul> physical RAM. R can't run memory intensive jobs even
    Paul> though the system reports plenty of free memory: R
    Paul> seems to refuse to take more than about 800Mb even
    Paul> though there is apparently about 950Mb still free -
    Paul> not to mention swap space. I've tried changing
    Paul> mem.limits() etc. with no effect.

A system administrator can always limit the amount of memory a
specific process can use.
In a csh, type
in a sh,
   ulimit -a

For the latter, on our Solaris 8 machine, I get

    $ ulimit -a  

    time(seconds) unlimited
    file(blocks) unlimited
    data(kbytes) unlimited
    stack(kbytes) 8192
    coredump(blocks) 0
    nofiles(descriptors) 256
    memory(kbytes) unlimited

I suspect you will see limits on memory, data, or such.
If you do and want to change this, go talk to your IT staff.
    Paul> The result is an error of the ilk "Error: cannot
    Paul> allocate vector of size 105183 Kb" (or 7000kb,or
    Paul> 200kb, or whatever, depending on what I am attempting
    Paul> to do, once I hit that limit).

    Paul> This seems to be a problem with R or my system, not
    Paul> the specific code since I can reproduce it a variety
    Paul> of ways.

    Paul> Am I missing something? Thanks for any help.

you're welcome

Martin Maechler <maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch>	http://stat.ethz.ch/~maechler/
Seminar fuer Statistik, ETH-Zentrum  LEO C16	Leonhardstr. 27
ETH (Federal Inst. Technology)	8092 Zurich	SWITZERLAND
phone: x-41-1-632-3408		fax: ...-1228			<><
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