What is Memory leaks in Python And How to Remove Them?

Memory is the vital part of any program as it keeps the efficient working of the program. Likewise, memory storage in python is crucial but it becomes out of space error due to memory leaks. It occur when the garbage collector fails to clean and remove the unused or unreferenced data from the python. So if you are thinking that whether there can be memory leaks in python then the answer is yes. Yes memory leaks can occur in Python also. So it has become a challenge for all the developers and programmers to deal with the takeaway issue of Memory leaks in Python.

Memory Leak

In computer science, memory leak means when the objects are stored in the memory of a program but is not in use still it has not been transferred to unused objects for removal so it leads to compiling of unused objects in the memory. It is called a memory leak. It unnecessarily fills up the storage of the program which leads to lack of space in the program, destruction of program and slow working of the program.

Memory Leak in Python

In Python programming language also there is a memory. So when the memory of python is filled with unused objects which have not been removed. That is when unused objects leak into the used memory so that they cannot be removed. It is called memory leaks in python.

Memory management in python is an application to resolve the problem of memory leak in python as it reads and writes the data.  It functions to erase the unused data from the memory to ensure the efficiency of memory by cleaning unused data from the memory.  Cpython is inbuilt machinery in the python to ensure that unreferenced and unused data is collected by the garbage collector to remove.

Meaningly, Python Programmers and developers usually don’t have to worry about the allocation and deallocation of memory in python programmers as Cpython will automatically work upon that by notifying the garbage collector to remove the garbage that is unreferenced data from memory.

But if we talk about practical terms then it is not as easy as it seems. As sometimes, Garbage collectors fail to keep a check on unreferenced objects and which leads to memory leaks in Python. Eventually, programs in python run out of memory because it gets filled by memory leaks. It becomes a challenge to find memory leaks in python and then to cure them.

Thus, we can say that memory leak occurs in python when the unused data is heaped up and the programmer forgets to delete it. In order to diagnose such memory leaks from python, we have to perform a process of memory profiling whereby we can measure the memory used by each part of the code.

Don’t panic with the word Memory profiling as basic memory profiling is quite easy.

The causes of memory leaks in Python

  1. To linger all the large objects which have not been released
  2. Reference cycles in the code can also cause memory leaks.
  3. Sometimes underlying libraries can also cause memory leaks.

Debug

Firstly you can debug the memory usage through the gc built in module. It will list out all the objects which are known by the Garbage collector.  It will help you to find out where the whole memory is being used. And then you can filter it according to their use. If the objects are not in use even if it is referenced. Then you can delete them to prevent memory leaks in Python.

It will print out all the objects and data created during the execution process. But gc in the built module has a restriction that it does not state about how objects are being allocated. So ultimately it won’t help you to find out to identify the code responsible for the allocation of the objects which are causing memory leaks.

Tracemalloc

The best feature of Python is the new Tracemalloc built in module. As it is considered as the most suitable to the problem of memory leaks in Python. It will help you to connect an object with the place it was first allocated.

It has a stack trace which will help you to find out which particular use of a common function is consuming memory in the program. Tracemalloc allows you to have a track of the memory usage of an object. Ultimately you can figure out the causes of Memory leaks in Python. So if you know which objects are causing memory leaks you fix them or clear.

It will efficiently reduce the footprints of a memory in the program. That is why Tracemalloc is known as the powerful memory tracker method to reduce memory leaks in Python.

Conclusion

Python is one of the best object oriented programming languages of the world. It is used by many large companies for their many projects like Google, YouTube etc. It is known for its efficiency. But it is also subject to memory leaks like other programs. Cpython in python helps to allocate and deallocate the memory in Python. 

But sometimes certain objects are left unresolved even if they are unreferenced for a long time. This is where the Memory leaks occur in Python. Therefore it has become a challenge for all the programmers and developers to resolve. Eventually they have found certain ways to deal with this issue as above mentioned.

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