I've always been a minimal-swap advocate but I entered the DVD age finally last night and *that* eats some RAM. Still, it was mostly being cached and didn't dip into my swap too much for as much as I observed it and that was Linux's usual pre-emptive memory usage. I *might* have gotten by without a swap.
Actually, wr3ck3d, DOS doesn't use swap.
DOS apps do create temp files all over the place but the system doesn't have a permanent swap file or partition. And I'm pretty sure most temp files are more to get around single-tasking limitations than low-mem limitations. And it's not just cuz DOS is lame - Linux (on average) uses a fraction of RAM in CLI that it uses in GUI.
But, yeah, long story short, swap's cheap additional (virtual) RAM.
And I don't know what the guy who wrote that Solaris thing was talking about regarding Linux. With top alone, at the bottom of the very man page is
free(1), ps(1), uptime(1), vmstat(8), w(1).
and free, ps, and vmstat, at the least, are relevant. And I'm sure that's not all.