I'm on an Arch Linux machine running KDE Plasma desktop environment. I have 16GB of physical RAM installed in my machine. I had 8GB swap memory and apparently have access to 8GB of RAM. I wanted to reduce swap and increase access to more RAM. I used KDE Partition Manager to reduce my swap memory size to 2GB from 8GB.

KDE Partition Manager screenshot 1

But now I have some 14GB of unallocated space and still only have access to 8GB of RAM. How do I regain access to RAM and allocate the 14GB to the partition containing most of the OS files and folders?

EDIT: To reduce confusion, here's what I see in the "System Load" section of KSysGuard, the system monitor I use:

Although I have 16GB RAM installed, the monitor shows the max at 7.7GB.enter image description here

  • 1
    Please post the output of sudo lshw -class memory Also it would be nice to know what your device is (PC? Laptop? What's your motherboard? What's your CPU?) Jun 24, 2020 at 15:44
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    I've got an MSI B450 motherboard. Turns out either my RAM sticks were in the wrong order or the motherboard failed to read two of the sticks (4GB x 4 sticks). So I popped em all out, placed two in the slots, with an empty slot in between each stick, and booted it up. My BIOS detected the change. Then I shut down the computer and added the remaining two sticks. Booted it up, and the motherboard detected all four. I now have access to all 16GB of RAM installed.
    – Username
    Jun 24, 2020 at 17:27
  • 1
    That's great! I was almost sure it was some sort of hardware compatibility issue. Jun 24, 2020 at 18:20

4 Answers 4


Your question is very hard to understand due to many contradictions. You start with

"I have 16GB of physical RAM installed in my machine"

then you say

"I had 8GB swap memory and 8GB RAM".

How much RAM do you really have? Also the next question is kinda illogical or poorly formulated,

"I wanted to reduce swap and increase access to more RAM".

Your RAM is always used entirely first before Linux starts using SWAP. Increasing or decreasing SWAP doesn't affect how Linux uses your RAM.

Lastly Linux has allowed to use a SWAP file on any of your partitions for many years already. There's no need to allocate a dedicated SWAP partition.

If you want to merge sda2 with the remaining free space after it, you could delete the SWAP space first (if it's in use, issue this command first sudo swapoff -a) and then recreate a partition by grabbing the entire free 16GB.


Swap memory is not physical RAM; it is a way that a computer can store parts of your RAM contents in a temporary file on your drive to free up RAM space while those files aren't in heavy use. As Oskar says, the swap space you have partitioned on your drive has no effect on your RAM, and your ram issues are being caused by something else if you actually do have 16G of physical RAM.

This website explains swap pretty well.

  • Thanks, I updated my question to clarify my RAM situation.
    – Username
    Jun 24, 2020 at 15:38

If the machine has 16 GiB RAM physically installed but Linux is unable to use more than 8, it has nothing to do with swap.

It's most likely a memory problem. Check if all 16 gigs are detected by the BIOS. If they're there, try reordering them.


The way you have partitioned your disk will make it tricky to use the leftover space that you've freed from swap by your main partition, since growing a partition into empty space requires no moving of data on the file system. It's still possible just not the easiest scenario.

If you only see 8GB of RAM, then you have a hardware fault if you have 16GB installed. Swap and RAM are different things - you should always ever see the entirety of your RAM space on your system (there are exceptions but these won't apply to typical systems today). Whether you have or don't have swap or how much of it you have is a functional matter.

  • Updated my question to hopefully reduce confusion.
    – Username
    Jun 24, 2020 at 15:39
  • 1
    updated answer too. it looks to me like you could have a hardware fault. or a misunderstanding around how much physical ram you have installed.
    – Pedro
    Jun 25, 2020 at 12:59

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