Multiple interpreters retaining huge amounts of memory

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at
Mon Feb 4 00:03:35 CET 2008

>>> It means that
>>> environment variable separation for changes made unique to a sub
>>> interpreter is impossible.
>> That's not really true. You can't use os.environ for that, yes.
> Which bit isn't really true?

The last sentence ("It means that...").

> When you do:
>   os.environ['XYZ'] = 'ABC'
> this results in a corresponding call to:
>   putenv('XYZ=ABC')

Generally true, but not when you did


Furthermore, you can make changes to environment variables
without changing os.environ, which does allow for environment
variable separation across subinterpreters.

> As a platform provider and not the person writing the application I
> can't really do it that way and effectively force people to change
> there code to make it work. It also isn't just exec that is the issue,
> as there are other system calls which can rely on the environment
> variables.

Which system calls specifically?

> It is also always hard when you aren't yourself having the problem and
> you are relying on others to try and debug their problem for you. More
> often than not the amount of information they provide isn't that good
> and even when you ask them to try specific things for you to test out
> ideas, they don't. So often one can never uncover the true problem,
> and it has thus become simpler to limit the source of potential
> problems and just tell them to avoid doing it. :-)

You do notice that my comment in that direction (avoid using multiple
interpreters) started that subthread, right :-?


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