"High water" Memory fragmentation still a thing?

Christian Heimes christian at python.org
Fri Oct 3 21:51:02 CEST 2014

On 03.10.2014 21:16, Antoine Pitrou wrote:
> It is not a leak. It is a quite common pattern of memory fragmentation.
> The article is wrong in assuming that Python doesn't return the memory to
> the OS. Python does return its empty memory pools to the OS, however the OS
> itself may not be able to release that memory, because of heap fragmentation.

The article doesn't state if the writer is referring to virtual memory
or resident set size. For long-running 32bit processes it is quite
common to run out of virtual address space. But that's something totally
different than running out of memory. A 64bit process can have a virtual
address size of several GB but only occupy a few hundred MB of physical
memory. People tend to confuse the meaning of VSZ and RSS and forget
about paging.

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