[Rd] Memory allocator on OS/X

Jason Foster retsofaj at mac.com
Sat May 20 00:37:02 CEST 2006

A quick scan though the mailing list archives didn't reveal any  
reference to this article, so here goes:


In response to a criticism of OS X, a diligent blogger examined a  
claim that it was an inherently slow operating system.  The  
application in question was R, and the results were...

"Linux uses ptmalloc, which is a thread-safe implemenation based on  
Doug Lea’s allocator (Sekhon’s test is single threaded,  
incidentally). R also uses the Lea allocator on Windows instead of  
the default Windows malloc. But on Mac OS X, it uses the default  

... and ...

"If you use the same allocator on Mac OS X that R uses on Windows,  
the performance differences all but disappear."

Would it make sense for the build process that generates R binaries  
for OS X to use the Lea allocator?

Jason Foster

More information about the R-devel mailing list