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Old 09-22-2010, 05:10 AM   #1
FireRaven
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Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Australia
Distribution: Debian Squeeze
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Do I need swap space if installing linux on a USB flash stick?


I am installing Linux on a USB flash memory stick (either using Ubuntu installer or Debian debootstrap).

I have heard that (but might be wrong):
1. Swap is not that important these days with system that have lots of RAM?
2. Swap space may wear out a USB flash drive (I agree with this)
3. USB flash drives read at max 20MB/s which is too slow for swap space.


I have been running my distros off USB sticks (even a small server) for a years but always had a swap on them. Just wondering what your thoughts are?
 
Old 09-22-2010, 06:25 AM   #2
ozanbaba
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Registered: May 2003
Location: Tengiz
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRaven View Post
I am installing Linux on a USB flash memory stick (either using Ubuntu installer or Debian debootstrap).

I have heard that (but might be wrong):
1. Swap is not that important these days with system that have lots of RAM?
2. Swap space may wear out a USB flash drive (I agree with this)
3. USB flash drives read at max 20MB/s which is too slow for swap space.


I have been running my distros off USB sticks (even a small server) for a years but always had a swap on them. Just wondering what your thoughts are?
Well my Slackware 12.1 hardly used swap with 512 MB RAM. It was used mostly at times of heavy compiles (like kernel), and heavy programs like OpenOffice. Now Slackware 13.1 not even uses swap place much. I wouldn't put one It's not needed as much as It used to be.
 
Old 09-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
Gallifrey
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Registered: Feb 2010
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 - Lucid Lynx, Fedora 13, OpenSUSE 11.2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRaven View Post
I am installing Linux on a USB flash memory stick (either using Ubuntu installer or Debian debootstrap).

I have heard that (but might be wrong):
1. Swap is not that important these days with system that have lots of RAM?
2. Swap space may wear out a USB flash drive (I agree with this)
3. USB flash drives read at max 20MB/s which is too slow for swap space.


I have been running my distros off USB sticks (even a small server) for a years but always had a swap on them. Just wondering what your thoughts are?
Swap space on a USB stick will significantly shorten it's life should it ever come under regular heavy use. Having said that, if you have plenty of RAM, it shouldn't need to be used, and consequently, won't be necessary anyway. So IMHO, I wouldn't put a swap partition on there.
 
Old 09-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #4
snowpine
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Swap is not necessary unless you are a) short on RAM, or b) wish to use the Hibernate feature.
 
  


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