Python 2.6 still not giving memory back to the OS...

Chris Withers chris at
Mon Aug 24 18:08:15 CEST 2009

Martin v. Löwis wrote:
> Today, there are two cases when malloc returns memory on a typical
> Unix system (in particular, in Linux malloc):
> a) if the malloc block block is small (below page size), it is allocated
>    from the brk heap, where it can only be returned if the last page of
>    that heap is completely free, and
> b) if the block is large (multiple pages), it gets returned to the
>    system right away.
> Case b) can only happen if the C malloc uses mmap to allocate large
> blocks. 

I believe (and John will correct me if I'm wrong) that xlrd uses mmap, 
so why am I not seeing the memory being returned?


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