Swap space is an area of the hard disk that serves as an overflow when the computer memory is full. The memory used by inactive applications is partially written out to disk to make room for other applications and for the disk cache for active files.

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Are there any side effects when two distros share a swap partition?

In order to save disk space, I want to have two OS installations share a single swap partition (a dual-boot). Is this a good idea?
92
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7answers
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Why use swap when there is more than enough free space in RAM?

Using swap space instead of RAM can drastically slow down a PC. So why, when I have more than enough RAM available, does my Linux system (Arch) use the swap? Checkout my conky output below: Also, ...
15
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4answers
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How to re-load all running applications from swap space into RAM?

If my desktop run out of memory and swaps a lot then I free or kill the application wasting my RAM. But, after that, all my desktop/applications have been swapped and are horribly slow, do you know a ...
49
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3answers
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What NOT to put on an SSD?

I bought an SSD and I am going to set up my desktop system with a completely fresh Linux installation. SSDs are known to be fast, but they have a disadvantage: The number of writes (per block?) is ...
24
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3answers
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What does the vm.swappiness parameter really control?

Per the kernel documentation: This control is used to define how aggressive the kernel will swap memory pages. Higher values will increase aggressiveness, lower values decrease the amount of swap. ...
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6answers
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Can Linux “run out of RAM”?

I saw several posts around the web of people apparently complaining about a hosted VPS unexpectedly killing processes because they used too much RAM. How is this possible? I thought all modern OS' ...
56
votes
12answers
10k views

Do I need swap space if I have more than enough amount of RAM?

From what I understand, the purpose of a swap partition in Linux is to free up some "not as frequently accessed" information from RAM and move it to a specific partition on your harddrive (at the cost ...
34
votes
2answers
20k views

Why is swappiness set to 60 by default?

I just read some stuff about swappiness on Linux. I don't understand why the default is set to 60. According to me this parameter should be set to 10 in order to reduce swap. Swap is on my hard ...
34
votes
9answers
2k views

Is swap an anachronism?

I've used unix for quite a while, and for the last couple years I've felt like swap is an anachronism, but I'd be curious what other folks think. My argument is roughly this (assuming no global ...
21
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4answers
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How to completely disable swap?

I am using Debian sid, hard drive formatted with ext4, running on linux 3.1 I remember on previous linux versions (maybe before 3.0), if I run out of memory, and swap is not enabled, programs will ...
26
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12answers
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How can I tweak my Linux desktop to be more responsive?

I have the experience that Linux works fine until the physical memory is exhausted. As soon as swap space is used the performance is severely degraded and the GUI becomes unresponsive. This problem ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Cleancache vs zram?

I have an old laptop here with only 512 MB of RAM. Since a few kernel releases, I am using zram to convert 256 MB of it to a compressed ramdisk which is then used as swap. This has proved to be very ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

What is the use/meaning of 'swap area' while linux installation?

When i installed ubuntu in my x86 machine, I had to configure some memory as 'swap area'. What is the use of this memory and what is the importance of this memory in linux file systems? How can I ...
8
votes
1answer
95 views

What sets the size of tmpfs? What happens when its full?

What sets the size of the tmpfs? (On my machine it resides in /dev/shm) I can see its entry in /etc/fstab, but no notation of its size. When checking with df -h, it seems to be half the size of the ...
0
votes
3answers
598 views

How much swap space should I use? [closed]

What rules should I follow to determine how much swap space my linux-based computer should have today?
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2answers
25k views

How can I check if swap is active from the command line?

How can I check if swap is active, and which swap devices are set up, on the command line?
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2answers
3k views

Linux: Total swap used = swap used by processes +?

So, I'm trying to do some investigation on where does swap use come from in a system with high swap usage: # free total used free shared buffers cached Mem: ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does Linux use a swap partition rather than a file?

It seems to me a swap file is more flexible.
24
votes
4answers
5k views

How can swapoff be that slow?

Somehow I happened to swap out 14 GB of memory. After having killed the culprit, I have tons of free memory again, so I thought I could bring in the important data again. So with 5 GB out of 32 GB ...
12
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1answer
10k views

How to test swap partition

I'm trying to diagnose some random segfaults on a headless server and one thing that seems curious is that they only seem to happen under memory pressure and my swap size will not go above 0. How can ...
10
votes
4answers
165 views

Can swapping be disabled on the application level?

I'm currently using thunderbird with gnupg to read encrypted emails. If I understand the swapping behavior correctly, the memory pages containing the decrypted emails might be swapped out and leave ...
10
votes
1answer
589 views

What happens to data in swap when your computer hibernates?

When a computer goes into hibernation mode, it saves the contents of the RAM into the swap space so that it can resume exactly where it left off when it powers back on. So, what if you are currently ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is swap used when a lot of memory is still free? [duplicate]

In the below 2.6.18 Linux Kernel (Red Hat) server, there is a lot of free memory, but I see some swap is used. I always thought of swap as an overflow when memory has been depleted. Why would it ...
11
votes
1answer
8k views

swapon: Operation not permitted

I'm running this as root, obviously. I've created a file called /swap/sw1, by dumping 512 megs of /dev/zero into it. I then ran mkswap, which said: Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 524284 KiB ...
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votes
2answers
2k views

How do I set up an encrypted swap file in Linux?

How do I set up an encrypted swap file (not partition) in Linux? Is it even possible? All the guides I've found talk about encrypted swap partitions, but I don't have a swap partition, and I'd ...
8
votes
2answers
287 views

How can my HDD swap without a swap partition?

I have no swap partition on my disk because I prefer having the OOM reaper kill anything it wants quickly rather than having to wait 10 minutes for my swap partition to get filled + 5 other minutes to ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Where to put swap space, at beginning or end and other swap questions

Where do I put my swap? Debian installation gives 2 choices: (1) at the end or (2) at the beginning of the disk space. What is optimal? What is the optimal amount of swap given my computer has ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

Is there any relationship between memory fragmentation and whether or not swap is enabled on a system?

One of the answers to Do I need swap space if I have more than enough amount of RAM? got me wondering if there is any relationship between memory fragmentation as measured by cat /proc/buddyinfo and ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

How can I tell how much my system is swapping?

Is there a good way to see how much my system (for example how frequently, how much swap space it is using each time/ on average) is using the swap space during various tasks?
6
votes
3answers
14k views

Swap usage too high?

I have a debian sid box, freshly installed about a month ago, with no desktop apps running at the moment. Any command I try to run (via ssh) makes the hard disk work very hard. The system worked ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

When is swap triggered or how to calculate swap_tendency?

I'm trying to use Redis for production services and trying to avoiding swapping, which is bad for performance. I had learn that swap is triggered by swap_tendency which is depending on ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tweak the kernel for total swap out?

I would like to deploy the following swapping policy: By default all pages in memory should also be in swap space. When a page in memory is changed (i.e. dirty), the page should be written out as ...
2
votes
2answers
980 views

Out of Swap - What happens?

On my debian VM machine with 512MB RAM and 348MB Swap, what will happen if i open a 1GB file in an editor and get out of memory? Will it crash the system? Or if not, how will linux handle this? ...
2
votes
3answers
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How is paging managed in the absence of swapping?

How is paging managed in the absence of swapping. If that is the case, how will a page fault be managed? What I meant is, if there is no availability for swapping, then how is Paging managed. I ...
12
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3answers
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What is the purpose of multiple swap files

During installation of most (if not all) distro's of linux, the hard drive is partitioned to include a swap partition by default. It is possible to change this behavior with swapon -p priority ...
7
votes
2answers
157 views

How to make files inside TMPFS more likely to swap

I'm using tmpfs for my /tmp directory. How can I make the computer decide to swap out the files inside the /tmp before swapping out anything that is being used by applications? Basically the files ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

can initramfs be paged out to swap disk?

I am using initramfs to boot Centos via PXE. The initramfs used memory is listed within the "cached" value in /proc/meminfo or via free. Since I need to calculate performance data, I need to know ...
3
votes
1answer
34 views

Can swap space accomodate single process?

From what I understand, the swap space can be used to swap out inactive processes to free up memory. But can a single process take advantage of swap space? For example, if my system has little memory, ...
3
votes
3answers
62 views

Is swapping enabled by default on common operating systems?

As a result of this question, I was a bit confused. After some research I found that swapping is enabled by default on Mac OS X. Swapping was furthermore introduced in Windows 3.0, so I believe it is ...
2
votes
2answers
934 views

Can linux systems on multiple virtual machines share the same swap partition? [duplicate]

I'm trying to save some disk space between multiple systems and re-using the same swap partition (which seems to be fine). I'm now getting into multiple virtual machines and am thinking of a ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

How to ask for a password to mount crypted swap at boot time on Linux Mint 16 with initramfs-tools? [duplicate]

I use encrypted home folders on my notebook, which prevents use of hibernation on standard setup, because - and for a good reason - besides encrypting the home folder with ecryptfs, it reformats the ...
1
vote
2answers
359 views

Swap bash script pins htop's memory usage

I deployed a hack to add swap space to a VPS that otherwise didn't allow me to use swapon to create a file. Prior to adding and executing the script, I followed the steps outlined here. and ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Drop_caches doesn't drop caches?

Sometimes I see my swap file is a bit bigger then usual. I tried sync && echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches to no avail. But when I tried swapoff -a it takes a bit longer but the swap file ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

free / top difference. Does free show virtual memory?

free -m shows me the following in my system: total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 3954 3842 111 0 248 2585 -/+ ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How to recover from a boot hang after deleting old swap?

I did a fresh installation of Fedora 20 in the free space of my hard drive after failing to upgrade from the older version. Everything seems to be working fine until I deleted the partition containing ...
0
votes
0answers
200 views

Is swapping the cause of high IO on my box?

I'm running a LAMP stack on an Amazon EC2 micro instance with 616 MB of memory. This seems sufficient to be able to run a few small websites with Apache, MySQL and PHP. I have one Wordpress site ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

How to get data shown out of workspace or directly from application?

Because of some reason I had to use another web browser than my main which I use daily and I chose a small browser which I installed long time ago. This brower is called Dooble, version 0.07 ...
0
votes
3answers
965 views

swap partition and its laws

I remember for choice of swap partition, we should use (swap > 2xRAM) at least.Of course it deprecated , because max of computer's ram is very high. kernel support it. My question: i remember each ...