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I have a question about the different way Linux handles its swap partition to Windows handling its page file (will call both swap from now on). I have noticed that ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! gaz_dc's Avatar
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    Swap partitions and Page file comparison


    I have a question about the different way Linux handles its swap partition to Windows handling its page file (will call both swap from now on).

    I have noticed that Windows seems to use its swap a lot more than Linux does, even when there is RAM available. I am currently posting this from my Win XP machine with Task Manager open at the performance tab and have an older PC with Linux running the Performance Monitor. Windows shows 208MB RAM free out of 512MB and is using 271MB of swap. Linux is showing 254MB free, again out of 512MB, with 0 swap used.

    Why is this? Is it just because, as I have heard, Linux is better at utilising its RAM?

    (This is NOT meant as a "Linux is better then Windows" thread - it is an attempt to learn something)

    Gaz

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast deltaflyer's Avatar
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    linux is better at memory management, it will utilise all physical ram before using swap file

    andy
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  3. #3
    Just Joined! gaz_dc's Avatar
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    Whilst on the subject of swap space, would there be any advantage in having it on a separate disk? I have 2 hard disks in my PC, 1 for Windows 1 for Linux. Would there be any point in having a swap partition for Linux on the Windows disk and vice versa? Does that even make any sense?! Obviously thinking more of Windows here, as Linux doesn't seem to need a swap partition with 512MB RAM to play with!

  4. #4
    Linux Enthusiast deltaflyer's Avatar
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    best to leave swap partitions as they are,as far as i know,windows can't read/use linux swap partition & vice versa( i may be wrong here) so best to leave

    andy
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  5. #5
    Just Joined! gaz_dc's Avatar
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    I obviously wasn't all that clear in what I was asking - sorry! I was thinking of having a FAT32 partition on the Linux hard disk for the Windows swap and a Linux partition on the Windows disk for the Linux swap. So that when booted into either OS, the native swap is on a different drive. Would this reduce disk thrashing when accessing the disk and swap file at the same time?

  6. #6
    Linux Enthusiast deltaflyer's Avatar
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    probably wouldn't be noticeable with linux,it very rarely uses swap, but windows might improve, depending if one disk is faster or not. also, in linux make sure you point the os to the right partition for swap

    andy
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  7. #7
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    having the swap on a different drive than the os can help...this is one thing i used to do when i had a gaming system. it helped quite a bit
    just make sure the drive you put the swap/page on is still pretty quick (atleast as fast as the one it's on now) so you don't accidentally slow the system down by putting the swap on a slower drive

  8. #8
    Just Joined! gaz_dc's Avatar
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    Yeah, that sounds logical. Thanks to all

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