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How much memory does a slice of random strings actually take?
package main
import (
// Thanks to Kale, Andrei, and Jaden on gophers slack
// so the size actually taken up by the string is the length of the string and
// then the size of the memory allocated for the slice holding references to
// the strings is 8 or 16 bytes times the capacity
// unsafe.Sizeof returns the compile time size of a type. It will return the
// exact same size for unsafe.Sizeof("") and unsafe.Sizeof("really long string")
// because strings are a header that point to data. It doesn't tell you the size
// of the data the header points to.
// This can also get more complicated if some of the elements are the same
// string or slices of larger strings because they could be sharing the
// underlying data. For your example with randomly generated strings that math should be correct.
// I don't know precisely about padding, but I do remember this oddity:
// (which may or may not reflect a reality about padding)
const letterBytes = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ"
func RandStringBytes(n int) string {
b := make([]byte, n)
for i := range b {
b[i] = letterBytes[rand.Intn(len(letterBytes))]
return string(b)
func main() {
number := 100000
var size uint64
var values = make([]string, number)
size += uint64(unsafe.Sizeof(values))
for i := 0; i < number; i++ {
values[i] = RandStringBytes(100)
size += uint64(len(values[i]))
size += uint64(unsafe.Sizeof("")) * uint64(number)
fmt.Println("total size", size)

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Xeoncross commented Sep 18, 2019

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