[Rd] Re: [R] RData loading weirdness

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Feb 1 14:31:13 CET 2005

[Moved to R-devel: see the posting guide for the currently made 

The format of .RData has not changed, so this is still of interest.

We have seen things like this, the problem being the way an out-of-memory 
condition got handled by Linux -- how much memory did his machine have?
(Remember 67Mb is compressed, often highly compressed.)

It has certainly been possible to save a workspace that needs much more 
memory to be restored on the same machine than it originally took.

We've found Linux to be rather unhelpful with out-of-memory conditions: 
one of our servers started `randomly' killing processes when its swap 
space got full -- and one of the first was the sshd daemon which cut off 
all remote access ....

On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, Barry Rowlingson wrote:

> I've just had an interesting thing happen to one of our students. He's using 
> R 1.9.1 on Linux, and so I dont expect bugfixes, I'm just reporting this out 
> of interest in case anyone else has had this happen.
> Starting R caused a seg fault shortly after "[Previously saved workspace 
> restored]". Running "R --no-restore-data" worked fine so I suspected a 
> corrupted .RData. It was 67M big, with about 400 objects - nothing extreme 
> there. But then doing load(".RData") worked fine. There were his objects. How 
> strange.
> I deleted the first 200 objects, saved the .RData, and retried. That worked, 
> so I thought it might have been an object in the last 200 or so. So I saved 
> them to .RData. Starting up with that worked.
> So, starting afresh with the original load(".RData"), I saved two .RData 
> files with each part. Quit, start again, load("part1.RData") and 
> load("part2.RData"), then quit and save. Now I had all 400-ish objects in one 
> .RData. Time to start R and see if it can startup with it.
> And it did. Worked fine. So I suspect a subtle bug in reading .RData files 
> or subtle corruption in the .RData. Most odd. Oh well, I guess I could see 
> what R 2.x.x does with it....
> Barry
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Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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