[R] question about bigmemory: releasing RAM from a big.matrix that isn't used anymore

Matthew Keller mckellercran at gmail.com
Sat Feb 6 03:24:14 CET 2010

Hi all,

I'm on a Linux server with 48Gb RAM. I did the following:

x <- big.matrix(nrow=20000,ncol=500000,type='short',init=0,dimnames=list(1:20000,1:500000))
#Gets around the 2^31 issue - yeah!

in Unix, when I hit the "top" command, I see R is taking up about 18Gb
RAM, even though the object x is 0 bytes in R. That's fine: that's how
bigmemory is supposed to work I guess. My question is how do I return
that RAM to the system once I don't want to use x any more? E.g.,


then "top" in Unix, I expect that my RAM footprint is back ~0, but it
remains at 18Gb. How do I return RAM to the system?



Matthew C Keller
Asst. Professor of Psychology
University of Colorado at Boulder

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