Managing very large files

Steve Bertrand iaccounts at
Thu Oct 4 13:25:29 PDT 2007

Heiko Wundram (Beenic) wrote:
> Am Donnerstag 04 Oktober 2007 22:16:29 schrieb Steve Bertrand:
>> This is what I am afraid of. Just out of curiosity, if I did try to read
>> the entire file into a Perl variable all at once, would the box panic,
>> or as the saying goes 'what could possibly go wrong'?
> Perl most certainly wouldn't make the box panic (at least I hope so :-)), but 
> would barf and quit at some point in time when it can't allocate any more 
> memory (because all memory is in use). Meanwhile, your swap would've filled 
> up completely, and your box would've become totally unresponsive, which goes 
> away instantly the second Perl is dead/quits.
> Try it. ;-) (at your own risk)

LOL, on a production box?...nope.

Hence why I asked here, probing if someone has made this mistake before
I do ;)

The reason for the massive file size was my haste in running out of the
office on Friday and forgetting to kill the tcpdump process before the
weekend began.


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