[Rd] SUGGESTION: Settings to disable forked processing in R, e.g. parallel::mclapply()

Iñaki Ucar |uc@r @end|ng |rom |edor@project@org
Mon Apr 15 11:02:05 CEST 2019

On Mon, 15 Apr 2019 at 08:44, Tomas Kalibera <tomas.kalibera using gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/13/19 12:05 PM, Iñaki Ucar wrote:
> > On Sat, 13 Apr 2019 at 03:51, Kevin Ushey <kevinushey using gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I think it's worth saying that mclapply() works as documented
> > Mostly, yes. But it says nothing about fork's copy-on-write and memory
> > overcommitment, and that this means that it may work nicely or fail
> > spectacularly depending on whether, e.g., you operate on a long
> > vector.
> R cannot possibly replicate documentation of the underlying operating
> systems. It clearly says that fork() is used and readers who may not
> know what fork() is need to learn it from external sources.
> Copy-on-write is an elementary property of fork().

Just to be precise, copy-on-write is an optimization widely deployed
in most modern *nixes, particularly for the architectures in which R
usually runs. But it is not an elementary property; it is not even
possible without an MMU.

Iñaki Úcar

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