CRITICAL ls MEMORY LEAK

Brian Inglis Brian.Inglis@SystematicSw.ab.ca
Sun Feb 21 18:05:23 GMT 2021


On 2021-02-21 08:18, Satalink via Cygwin wrote:
> I deal with a lot of very large files on a regular basis.  I've noticed that
> when I delve into these directories using in mintty and issue the command ls
> -l (or ls -color=auto),  a very large junk of memory is consumed.   The
> memory leak seems to be proportionate to the number and size of files within
> the containing folder.
> 
> To reproduce:
> 
> generate or use a folder containing 50 (or more) 2G+ files.
> 
> //  In this demonstration, I a ran the command on a directory containing 143
> files ranging in size from 2GB to 5GB.
> $>  free
>	   total	    used	    free	shared  buff/cache	available
> Mem:	50276004	16465148	33810856	     0		 0	33810856
> Swap:	12058624	  186468	11872156
> $>  ls -l -color=auto
> . (contents displayed after some delay)
> $>  free
>	   total	    used	    free	shared	buff/cache	available
> Mem:	50276004	19844660	30431344	     0		 0	30431344
> Swap:	12058624	  186460	11872164
> // After 10 consecutive executions of the 'ls -al --color=auto' command in
> this directory, ls has consumed 86% of my system's real memory.
> $> free
>	   total	    used	    free	shared	buff/cache	available
> Mem:	50276004	43587560	 6688444	     0		 0	6688444
> Swap:	12058624	  301068	11757556
> // If I continue (usually unknowingly) my system will completely be depleted
> of resources to the point my mouse will barely respond to movement.

That number is just the amount of unused physical memory on the system, and will 
go down as you use the system, because unused memory is wasted meory.

Better to use Windows utilities like Task Manager/Performance/Memory, Resource 
Monitor/Memory, or MS/SysInternals rammap which give system relevant details.

You will probably find that a lot of your memory is in Standby which means it is 
being used to memory map or cache files, and it should be released when needed.
Unfortunately Windows often can't release the memory as fast as programs want to 
use it.

Just accessing files can cause AV/Defender to look at what you are doing,  and 
have AV and Search take a look in the files, which uses and ties up a bunch of 
resources for a while.

You need to look a bit further for longer to decide if there are real issues, 
and if so, where they are.

-- 
Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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