How to work with bigger datasets in Gephi

Managing RAM and openning bigger graph files

Gephi is a quite popular software amongst SEOs, mainly known for internal linking visualization.
This open-source and free software is available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux, and aims to visualize graphs and networks. It has many features and algorithms which are very helpful for SEO analysis, such as calculating internal PageRank or Modularity Classes.

However, like many Java-based softwares, Gephi is not very good with RAM management, and working with bigger volumes of data can be really painful.

But there is a solution !

The available memory for Gephi is defined in the gephi.conf file, and is editable.
This file is located:

  • on Windows, in C:\Program Files (x86)\Gephi 0.9\etc\,
  • on Mac OS, /Applications/Gephi.app/Contents/Resources/gephi/etc/,
  • on Linux, in the etc folder in your application directory.

Simply edit the default_options line and change the -Xms (minimum RAM when starting the app) and -Xmx (maximum RAM allowed) values. For example on my computer, I configured 256Mo at the start, and 2Go max (I have a 8Go RAM Macbook Pro). The whole line looks like this:

default_options="--branding gephi -J-Xms256m -J-Xmx2048m -J-Xverify:none -J-Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true -J-Dsun.awt.noerasebackground=true -J-Dnetbeans.indexing.noFileRefresh=true -J-Dplugin.manager.check.interval=EVERY_DAY"  

Theese changes will be take into account the next time you start Gephi.

The app definitely runs smoother with bigger datasets. I hope you’ll find this useful !

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