Garbage collecting binaries

tom kelly <>
Thu Oct 7 16:07:10 CEST 2010


Hello List,

I need some help on garbage collecting binaries.
I have an application that handles large binaries and under load it eats up
all the available memory then falls over, even when I start all the
data-handling processes with "{spawn_opt,[{fullsweep_after, 20}]}".

Reading point 5.15 on the page:
http://www.erlang.org/faq/how_do_i.html
leads me to think that calling the garbage collector on the process that
created a binary will clean it up but my shell experiment below shows me I'm
wrong. It's now 10 minutes since I've done this experiment and the large
binary is still in memory.

Maybe I have to call the garbage collector of the process whose heap is
storing the binary? If so, which process is it?

Any pointers as to what I'm doing wrong or mis-understand will be greatly
appreciated.

I'm on a legacy R12B5 system.

//Tom.



18> process_info(self(),total_heap_size).
{total_heap_size,4181}

19> A = L(100000).
[140,161,41,128,44,96,215,43,15,164,88,107,1,167,4,125,118,
 180,121,181,160,124,244,140,169,215,31,82,43|...]

20> process_info(self(),total_heap_size).
{total_heap_size,1149851}

21> f(A).
ok

22> erlang:garbage_collect().
true

23> process_info(self(),total_heap_size).
{total_heap_size,3194}


24> memory(binary).
6536

25> A = B(100000).
<<232,241,55,171,218,35,86,122,211,185,232,1,203,249,181,
  218,176,33,88,131,102,56,102,82,158,114,200,174,253,...>>

26> memory(binary).
106704

27> f(A).
ok

28> memory(binary).
106704

29> erlang:garbage_collect().
true

30> memory(binary).
106560


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