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As I understand it the swap partition gives a performance advantage over having a swap file on a normal partition as you don't have the extra file system layer that need processing between read/writes. The swap partition is the filesystem if you see what I mean.
Sorry for the interruption but I have a simple question regarding swap partition, too. If I am to install 2 distros on the same machine, is one swap partition enough for me or do I have to make 2 of them?
the swap file is used as "ram" once your ram is full
on most newer systems this isnt an issue with linux
its more of an issue with windows due too the poor memory management
the swap file came in handy back in the day when ram was really expensive
debian for example will allow you to procede with the install without a swap
the distro i use i set my swap so small its really of no use
but at a gig of ram ill never fill it up