Import Test
With this fix, importing thousands of products with your own scripts won’t be a problem anymore

Importing products into an e-commerce system means dealing with thousands of data records. Magento offers DataFlow for this task, where you can import products from CSV or Excel-XML files using a profile you defined before. Unfortunately this solution is not flexible enough for many stores, as they often require direct access to ERP systems or PIM software. This is why most of the bigger stores use self-engineered interfaces running from within Magento or using the API. This way is much more flexible than DataFlow, but currently there is one huge drawback: Due to some memory leaks in the Magento core, importing big amounts of data leads to crashes when the available memory is exhausted.

Not welcome: The allocated memory is exhausted because of memory leaks.

But this does not only happen while importing data. With this little test you can easily watch the memory consumption grow:

    $product = Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load(0);

This loads a product model 100 times. Using memory_get_usage() to output the used memory, the problem gets clear:

Product Load Memory Leak
Memory consumption grows with each run – until the script crashes in the worst case

The cause for the memory leaks lies within the garbage collector integrated in PHP. It can not handle so called “circular references” in complex objects, so the allocated memory for those objects will not be freed. A workaround for this problem is to manually free the objects during runtime. For more information on the circular reference problem in PHP visit these sites:

The Fix

We here at Visions have analysed the problem and wrote a simple yet working fix for it. It is currently reviewed and tested over at Varien and will most likely be included into the next Magento release. If you don’t want to wait, you can fix your Magento installation for yourself. But be warned: Though thoroughly tested, we can not guarantee for this to work in your environment! Do not use this on a productive system!

First you need to add the function __destruct() to the file app/code/core/Mage/Eav/Model/Entity/Attribute/Abstract.php:

public function __destruct()

This will be used in the walkAttributes() function within the file app/code/Mage/Eav/Model/Entity/Abstract.php. Look for this code:

catch (Exception $e) {
$exception = new Mage_Eav_Model_Entity_Attribute_Exception($e->getMessage());
throw $exception;

and append the following line:


Additionally, find this code within the _collectSaveData() function:

elseif (!$attribute->isValueEmpty($v)) {
    $insert[$attrId] = $v;

and append the following line:


And that’s it! Another test shows constant memory consumption now:

Product Load Fixed
Constant memory usage with the fix.

About the author
Sebastian Heuer has been working on Magento projects since June 2008. He works as a developer for Visions.

15 thoughts

  1. Hello,

    Sadly it doesn’t seem to do much for my imports. I’m supposed to update some 5000 products and creating them is not a problem (although memory is skyrocketing) but updating is. Am I missing something in your solution? I’ve added a __destruct to Eav/Model/Entity/Attribute/Abstract.php and 2 lines ($this->unsetAttributes() to _collectSaveData and $attribute->__destruct() to walkAttributes) to Eav/Model/Entity/Abstract.php but for my update script, memory still increases.
    Should I do anything special for updating products?
    kind regards,

  2. This solutions causes a couple of problems ie, multiple images upload in products wont work and you will get welcome emails every time you log in as customer. Hope 1.4.x has solved this.
    But thanks for you post anyway!

  3. this fix complete broke the order page. Order will go through but when accessing order page on admin, we get Fatal error: Call to a member function getMethodInstance() on a non-object in /home/xxxxx/staging/app/code/core/Mage/Sales/Model/Order.php on line 370

  4. This may work for a simple products loop as given in the example, BUT it breaks part of magento. (we found the product images don’t work after this was applied)

    Potentially on the right track, but you will have to dig a bit further…..

    Thanks for the effort.

  5. Does anyone know how to restore the product image functionality in admin section? I unapplied the the fix but the product image is still broken.

  6. I’ve applied the patches, and the memory leak is better, but not completely fixed.

    Ever since 1.4, my script for google product feed generation gets slower and slower as it runs, and as memory usage increases.

    Before it was like 15 minutes to generate a google base feed for around 11,000 products, and now it’s something like 8 hours.

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  8. i’m using magento v. any further discoveries with this? comments show these modifications create problems. still seems to be a problem in this version…

  9. I am not sure about the import/export, but I did find this fixed my issues when running processes over our 70k products. I have not actually used it in a practical way, but at least now i can walk through all of our products without a memory limit problem.

    for ($ids AS $id) {
    $product = Mage::getModel(‘catalog/product’)->load($id);
    // do stuff

    Please correct me if I am misunderstanding the user of the function, it looks to me to basically “unset” an instance of from the inside out.

  10. I read:
    “This will be used in the walkAttributes() function within the file app/code/Mage/Eav/Model/Entity/Abstract.php. Look for this code:”

    This will be used in the walkAttributes() function within the file app/code/core/Mage/Eav/Model/Entity/Abstract.php. Look for this code:

    Tnx :)

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