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
no label, UUID=f071fec6-0589-443f-9d46-1c126636418b

I'm assuming this means it worked fine. I've chmodded the file to 0600, and the file is owned by root. I then ran swapon:

$ swapon -v /swap/sw1
swapon on /swap/sw1
swapon: /swap/sw1: Operation not permitted

I've also tried adding this to fstab and calling swapon -a -v, but go the same problem. Why am I not allowed to use this file as a swap file?

One note, which I think is irrelevant but I could be wrong - I'm running on an OpenVZ VM.

  • 2
    Are you executing swapon as root? Oct 8, 2010 at 13:55
  • 2
    @Kristof, configurator did state that he is running as root
    – Stefan
    Oct 8, 2010 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


I think you were hit by the limitations of OpenVZ. OpenVZ does not allow what they call "user defined swap": Swap is only available "as a whole" for the whole system, not for individual VPSes, see http://forums.vpslink.com/linux/621-swap-space.html#post3915

  • 2
    Link appears to be broken. Aug 13, 2020 at 12:46

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