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Re: Does Emacs return memory to the system on Mac OS X or *BSD?

From: George Plymale II
Subject: Re: Does Emacs return memory to the system on Mac OS X or *BSD?
Date: Wed, 10 May 2017 19:34:15 -0400

> but in essence, while an app can release memory it no longer requires,
> that memory is not actually released back to the OS to be used by
> other apps until the app has exited. The upshot is that while the app
> i.e. emacs, may have freed/released memory, the OS won't see that
> released memory until after emacs has exited.

Yes, I originally feared that this sort of thing would be the case as I
have seen such from many other apps. I was just wondering if it's
different for Emacs, esp. after reading Eli's initial comment in the
original reddit thread. Anyway, one would probably have to do some more
digging in the places that Eli mentioned to find out for sure (hence my
initial question about that).

> I can say that I use emacs intensively on both Linux and OSX and run
> for long periods of time and certainly don't notice any loss of
> available memory or emacs growing in footprint size.

Yes, I've used Emacs on both as well for long periods of time. It
certainly isn't nearly as bad as many other apps. However, on my main
workstation, I often have many memory-craving processes open and I've
been forced to reboot on occasion due to system malfunctions stemming
from a lack of memory. Ever since the last time that happened, I've
tried to be more vigilant about how much memory things are using,
although I've not seen Emacs exceed 300 MB, which isn't too bad. Still,
I was obviously curious if I can lower that amount (or if Emacs will do
that automatically (which according to Stefan, it likely does do so if
it's a single 1 GB chunk)) in case I accidentally start leaking memory
and don't want to restart it.

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