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Old 02-05-2014, 09:24 AM   #1
mobi323
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pagefile.sys


Hello,
I am very new to Ubuntu. I am 70 years old but I am fairly computer savvy. But Ubuntu is a horse of a different colour to Windows. My experience so far is that Linux/Ubuntu (Are they in general interchangeable?) beats Windows hands down even though it takes a lot more thought to set up programmes etc. I have Ubuntu 13.10 installed and I am very lucky to have a son who knows a lot about computers and is very helpful (if I can get him away from Doom, Quake and many other seemingly mindless games).
My initial question is that one of the main benefits of Ubuntu is that I can control what files are what on my computer. To that end I keep an eye on files that just "turn up" on my computer (there seemed to be thousands of them on Windows)
Anyway the question is that I have found this huge (8.5GB) file called "pagefile.sys" and I don't know where it came from and what it does. Can I move it? Can I delete it? What does it do? Is it essential to the running of Ubuntu or any other programme?
Searching with Google seems to return a lot of stuff about the "swap" aspect of the file system that I don't really understand.
Thank you in advance.

Last edited by mobi323; 02-05-2014 at 09:25 AM.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
pan64
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usually this is a swap file created on windows by the os. linux (ubuntu) does not use that file (name) by default. However anyone can create a file with that name therefore I cannot say anything about that.
To be able to decide we need more info about that file.
How did you find it, where is it located?
 
Old 02-05-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
schneidz
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i would remove it (or rename it for a week and see if it causes you harm). are you dual-booting... seems like some cruft leftover from a windows install. heres mine:
Code:
-rwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 1409286144 Sep  9 19:43 /media/win/pagefile.sys
 
Old 02-05-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
mobi323
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This file is located in a drive that is set as one where I can store music, documents etc. Under properties it says "Binary (application/octet-stream)" 8.5GB.
It cannot be opened.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
pan64
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renaming may cause: windows will recreate it and occupy another 8.5 GB space.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 10:05 AM   #6
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobi323 View Post
This file is located in a drive that is set as one where I can store music, documents etc. Under properties it says "Binary (application/octet-stream)" 8.5GB.
It cannot be opened.
We are nearly sure that file was created by Windows for swapping (virtual memory). That file is not used in Linux.

If you are done with using Windows on that computer, you can just delete that file.

If you are still dual booting Windows/Linux, you might still want to delete that file. If Windows needs that file, Windows will recreate it. The contents (while Windows is not running) don't mean anything. Recreating it in Windows is fast and automatic (if needed) and just as good as still having it left over from previous use.
 
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:47 AM   #7
mobi323
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Thank you everybody.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 02:52 PM   #8
taylorkh
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Hello mobi323,

As to one of your original questions... Ubuntu is a distribution (distro) or a flavor/variety of Linux. One of the strengths (or weaknesses) of Linux is the variety of distros available. In the Windoze world there are generally never more than 3 o 4 current versions supported at a given time (and they are all from Micro$oft). distrowatch.com has a Top 100 list by popularity!

As other replies have noted pagefile.sys is a Windows thing. At the time you installed Ubuntu you were given some options as to how to partition your hard drive. If you allowed the default it probably broke your hard drive into a large / (called root) partition and a smaller swap partition. If you are able to choose to boot to Windows or Ubuntu then the installer left a chunk of the drive alone for Windows to live on. The swap partition in Linux serves the same function as the pagefile.sys file in Windows. When the RAM memory of the computer fills up and you try to store more data to it something has to give. Older data is stored to the swap partition where it can be recalled at a later time when it is needed.

If you are using the default "Unity" interface in Ubuntu click on the "Dash home" button at the top of the button strip on the left of the screen. Type in Disk Utility. This program will present you with a nice picture of how your hard drive is divvied up. Just be careful and do not change thing within this program (until and unless you know what you are changing and why).

As to the stuff which accumulates on the computer. It will happen in Linux but perhaps not as bad as with Windows. The Disk Usage Analyzer is a handy way to find out where stuff is stored on your hard drive. If you find a bunch of unknown stuff stored somewhere on the disk ask here and I am sure someone will help you to determine what it is and if you can/should dispose of it.

Finally when it comes to installing software, the Ubuntu Software Center (or the older synaptic software management program) take most of the work out of installing the software. You just have to find a program that sounds like what you want and press Install.

Ken
 
  


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