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.


  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, the logic of using secondary memory to create zip files lies in

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

First published on 2018-09-11

Republished on Hackernoon