Reducing Memory Footprint While Creating Archive in Django

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Python built-in zip library is commonly used to create archive. However, there is a concern when creating zip files using built-in library. Consider the case which we are zipping files larger than our available memory, we would easily run out of memory.

I was building a feature that requires zipping of files and upload to our Django backend storage. After digging around the internet, I summarize the logic I used to support this feature.

Use NamedTemporaryFile Instead Of Memory

A NamedTemporaryFile resides in secondary memory instead of main memory, thus using it does not consume extra memory.

Pseudocode

1. Create a NamedTempFile
2. Create a ZipFile with NamedTempFile as file output
3. Write files into ZipFile
4. Move the cursor of the NamedTempFile back to the beginning
5. Wrap it with Django File
6. Inject a file name
7. Upload it to storage

Sample Code

Assume we have a model as in models.py, the logic of using secondary memory to create zip files lies in zipping.py.

I hope this helps. Please leave me a comment if you have better idea on reducing memory load when zipping files.

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