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  1. #1

    Is swap a file system?

    Is swap itself a file system at all?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    To the best of my knowledge, no. It's a partition that's used as a random storage area when your computer runs out of physical RAM. Essentially, harddrive-based RAM.
    Registered Linux user #270181

  3. #3
    Can you introduce a definite (official) reference for knowing that it is not a file system?

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  5. #4
    Just Joined! Sam Liu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    USA baby
    well its like he said, but since you format your harddrive to swap format I guess you could call it a "file system" to some extent

    though he is right, its not, really.. isnt a file system just another word for partition type? cause a file syste organizes the partition right?

    and why dont you wikipedia it?

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    In the Linux and *BSD operating systems, it is common to use a whole partition of a HDD for swapping. Though it is still possible to use a file for this, it is recommended to use a separate partition, because this excludes chances of file system fragmentation, which would reduce performance. Also, by using a separate swap partition, it can be guaranteed that the swap region is at the fastest location of the disk. On current HDDs this is the beginning. However with the 2.6 Linux kernel swap files are just as fast as swap partitions, this recommendation doesn't apply much to current Linux systems and the flexibility of swap files can outweigh those of partitions. And since modern high capacity hard drives can remap physical sectors you're not even guaranteed that a partition is contiguous, and even if it were, having the swap data near the rest of your data will reduce seek times when swapping was needed, so the performance claims in the earlier paragraphs probably do not apply to modern Linux systems. [citation needed]

  6. #5


    : ... Some disks are also used for swap, which supplies a temporary storage space for data in memory, when memory is full. Though "swap" resides on a disk, it is not actually a filesystem.

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