Ruby Garbage Collection and Memory Profiling

These slides by Joe Damato and Aman Gupta explain Garbage Collection and the Ruby Heap really well.

It talks about the following:

  • How memory is managed in Ruby vs C
  • All variables and all ruby code lives on the heap like any other object
  • In ruby there’s no way to explicitly free memory
  • How the garbage collection works in the ruby interpreter (MRI)
  • How ruby finds garbage to determine what can be freed up
  • No Ruby code can run while GC is running
  • The mark and sweep phase
  • Memprof (Memory Profiler which allows you to debug memory issues) and how they used it to find a 10mb per request memory leak in Rails 3

If you want to debug memory issues, use Memprof.

gem install memprof
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