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Old 12-27-2007, 12:12 PM   #1
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Question Slack uses only 6M out of 1G swap space!

Hi and happy holidays!
I have 1G swap partition. But all I see is that only 6M of it is sometimes used. My computer is very old and I suppose it must use swap more intensively. Why there's a rule of doing the swap partition as big as two RAMs if it's nearly not needed at all? Should I edit some configs to make use of the swap more intensive? Or maybe there's something wrong with my computer?

Sorry for my silly questions
Old 12-27-2007, 12:16 PM   #2
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If you have sufficient ram for running applications, then you will see that your swap will be hardly used. Making swap twice the ram is an old rule that does not necessarily apply these days when memory is so cheap and many computers ship with large amounts of ram.
Old 12-27-2007, 12:36 PM   #3
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Thank you! So, small usage of the swap may be a compliment to my OS .
I'm going to shrink my swap partition. What swap space may be sufficient for my PC (see the specs below)? I use it only as a desktop with KDE.

Last edited by and_ru; 12-27-2007 at 01:01 PM.
Old 12-27-2007, 01:14 PM   #4
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Try editing some large images or movies .... that swap will be used up before you know it.

But, it's true, for most things, that swap is never used.
Old 12-27-2007, 01:55 PM   #5
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Yes, that old rule of making your swap partition double the size of your RAM is a bit outdated now. I'm running Slack 12 on a Plll 800 MHz IBM eServer with 768 MB RAM; I'm using a 800 MB swap partition.
My unit rarely goes into swap:-)


Old 12-27-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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You will use swap when the kernel see the need. If you don't have sufficient amount of memory for an application(s) then that's when it will occur. But if your swap is not of sufficient amount and the kernel needs are greater than what you allocate then the system will become sluggish or slow until the task(s) are complete. If your HD space needs are that tight then you could or should look into increase either the HD or the RAM.
Old 12-27-2007, 06:22 PM   #7
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My rule of thumb with swap is the larger amount of ram I have the smaller the swap space I need.

Only time I have seen mine use extensively was when compiling large programs like binutils or something like that
Old 12-27-2007, 07:59 PM   #8
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One reason to continue keeping swap partitions large is to use it as the device for hibernate. You can actually use non-swap partitions, but hell seems pretty cool to me just to keep it on the swap.

And on that notion I still keep my swap at least as large as my RAM + GRAM.

Just because a machine is older does not mean it will use more SWAP. At the end of the clock cycle it still directly related to how much ram you have vs what you are trying to load into that ram.

Funny enough for whatever reason on machines that have been running quite a while I usually notice that it puts 2m to 6m worth of stuff in swap at some point for some reason. Its nothing to worry about, if its in there and you got ram free it deserves to be there.


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