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Memory use when reading a text file

by abingham (Initiate)
on Jul 24, 2002 at 11:44 UTC ( #184781=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
abingham has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Below is my code snippet...

...simple job, open a text log file, read through it line by line and then close it.

I am actually trying to extract statistics from our mail logs, so the final code will count up the number of messages to from each address and store this in a hash to be output to CSV file at the end. However, that's getting beyond myself.

The problem is when I run this with a 46Mb file, my WinXp workstation uses up all 1GB of RAM + Swap and goes ape. This seems alot of memory usage to just read through a file, even if the machine caches the entire file in memory. With this code, I am not storing any of the data or manipulating it in any way!

Any ideas from the Perl Monks?

Is there a more efficient way of reading through files?

# process.pl # andy bingham # 14 April 2002 # open(INP, "log.txt") or die "cannot open input"; foreach $line (<INP>) { # read in each line of INP #processing code goes here } close(INP); # # DONE #

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Re: Memory use when reading a text file
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Jul 24, 2002 at 11:49 UTC
    You are using <INP> in list context. That will make Perl slurp in the entire file, and turn it into a list of lines.

    The standard idiom of processing a file line by line is:

    while (<IN>) { # Processing goes here; the current line is in $_ }
    That should cut your memory usage as it doesn't read in the entire file in memory (unless there's just one line in the file...)

    Abigail

Re: Memory use when reading a text file
by ichimunki (Priest) on Jul 24, 2002 at 11:51 UTC
    This is related to your use of for(each), which tries to store the whole file in a temporary array in memory.

    Try:

    while( my $line = <INP> ){ ... }
    instead. This will simply copy each line into memory as needed.

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