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From Daniel Darabos <>
Subject Re: coalesce and executor memory
Date Sat, 13 Feb 2016 23:32:34 GMT
On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 11:10 PM, Koert Kuipers <> wrote:

> in spark, every partition needs to fit in the memory available to the core
> processing it.

That does not agree with my understanding of how it works. I think you
could do sc.textFile("input").coalesce(1).map(_.replace("A",
"B")).saveAsTextFile("output") on a 1 TB local file and it would work fine.
(I just tested this with a 3 GB file with a 1 GB executor.)

RDDs are mostly implemented using iterators. For example map() operates
line-by-line, never pulling in the whole partition into memory. coalesce()
also just concatenates the iterators of the parent partitions into a new

Some operations, like reduceByKey(), need to have the whole contents of the
partition to work. But they typically use ExternalAppendOnlyMap, so they
spill to disk instead of filling up the memory.

I know I'm not helping to answer Christopher's issue. Christopher, can you
perhaps give us an example that we can easily try in spark-shell to see the
same problem?

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