Fix Python – How can I explicitly free memory in Python?

Question

Asked By – Nathan Fellman

I wrote a Python program that acts on a large input file to create a few million objects representing triangles. The algorithm is:

  1. read an input file
  2. process the file and create a list of triangles, represented by their vertices
  3. output the vertices in the OFF format: a list of vertices followed by a list of triangles. The triangles are represented by indices into the list of vertices

The requirement of OFF that I print out the complete list of vertices before I print out the triangles means that I have to hold the list of triangles in memory before I write the output to file. In the meanwhile I’m getting memory errors because of the sizes of the lists.

What is the best way to tell Python that I no longer need some of the data, and it can be freed?

Now we will see solution for issue: How can I explicitly free memory in Python?


Answer

According to Python Official Documentation, you can explicitly invoke the Garbage Collector to release unreferenced memory with gc.collect(). Example:

import gc

gc.collect()

You should do that after marking what you want to discard using del:

del my_array
del my_object
gc.collect()

This question is answered By – Havenard

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