memory use with regard to large pickle files

Aaron Brady castironpi at
Sun Oct 19 05:00:17 CEST 2008

Catherine Moroney wrote:

> I'm writing a python program that reads in a very large
> "pickled" file (consisting of one large dictionary and one
> small one), and parses the results out to several binary and hdf
> files.
> The program works fine, but the memory load is huge.  The size of
> the pickle file on disk is about 900 Meg so I would theoretically
> expect my program to consume about twice that (the dictionary
> contained in the pickle file plus its repackaging into other formats),
> but instead my program needs almost 5 Gig of memory to run.
> Am I being unrealistic in my memory expectations?
> I'm running Python 2.5 on a Linux box (Fedora release 7).
> Is there a way to see how much memory is being consumed
> by a single data structure or variable?  How can I go about
> debugging this problem?
> Catherine

There's always the 'shelve' module.

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