Python 2.4.3 array memory leak

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Fri May 8 00:41:10 CEST 2009

danmcleran at wrote:
> I am using the array module to instantiate many arrays in my
> application. It seems like there is a memory leak in there somewhere.
> Can anyone confim this and let me know what, if anything, I can do
> about it? I am using Fedora Core 5 Linux:
> import commands
> import array
> import itertools
> import sys
> from itertools import repeat
> print '*** before ***'
> print commands.getoutput('cat /proc/meminfo').split('\n')[1]
> for i in range(100):
>     a = array.array('I', repeat(0, int(2E6)))
>     del a
> print '*** after ***'
> print commands.getoutput('cat /proc/meminfo').split('\n')[1]
> Output:
> *** before ***
> MemFree:       1459772 kB
> *** after ***
> MemFree:       1457688 kB

What happens if you remove the loop?  I would not be surprised if Python 
grabs the memory once, reuses it, and does not let go.  That is not a 
leak.  What happens if you put the after inside the loop?  Does mem 
usage steadily increase, and continue if you increase range to 1000, 
10000?  That would be a leak.

If there actually is a problem, try a later version of Python.

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