[R] memory

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Thu May 17 17:47:33 CEST 2001

On Thu, 17 May 2001, Heberto Ghezzo wrote:

> hello,
> I am using R1.2.2 on win98 with 64 meg of RAM
> I try to read a big csv file and get the error :
> a <- read.csv("c:/all2.csv",header=T)
> Error: vector memory exhausted (limit reached?)
> In addition: Warning message:
> Reached total allocation of 16Mb: see help(memory.size)
> Lost warning messages
> from there on, nothing works
> File-Exit, ^F4, q() , top right cross, the same message keep on
> appearing and the only solution is to close down the computer.
> Is this a bug?

Well, there's clearly a bug involved. You could make a good case for the
bug being in the operating system, though -- you should certainly be able
to kill the R process without restarting the computer.

I think that Windows is prepared to give away more memory than is good for
it, leaving the operating system with no room to work.  The --max-mem-size
option is designed to stop this: it specifies the maximum amount of memory
R can ask for.  It sounds like  your file is too big for read.csv in the
memory you have.  I believe R 1.3.0 has an improved read.table, which
might help.


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