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Hi, I was wondering, does linux still need that swap partition? I usually always assign one, which takes diskspace, but I never see it use it, ever. So is it ...
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  1. #1
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    Does linux still need swap?


    Hi,

    I was wondering, does linux still need that swap partition?

    I usually always assign one, which takes diskspace, but I never see it use it, ever. So is it even valid today?

    Say with systems of 4GB, 8GB or 16GB.



    Thanks.

  2. #2
    oz
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    Does linux still need swap?
    Some distros might require it, but most do not as far as I'm aware.

    My machines all have anywhere from 4 GB on up to 12 GB of RAM, so I've not used a SWAP partition (or file) for several years now and I've not missed it, or had any problems.
    oz

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    Really, that is very interesting.

    I guess I am gonna cut it out as well.

  4. #4
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    If you want to hibernate then you'll need swap at least = your ram
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


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  5. #5
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxext4 View Post
    I guess I am gonna cut it out as well.
    Here's a previous discussion that some of us had on this subject a couple of years ago:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...ram-count.html

    Perhaps some of the comments there might help you decide which route to take.
    oz

  6. #6
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    I have 2 gigs of RAM, no swap.
    I typically have multiple tabs open in Firefox (sometimes 2 or 3 sessions), a media player and Transmission.
    I've not run out of memory in the few years that I've had this machine.
    Last edited by jayd512; 08-24-2011 at 11:48 PM.
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  7. #7
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    If you do any actual work, multi-tasking, DB work, graphics work, etc on the system, you need swap/paging space.

    But then, oddly enough, if you end up using your swap, you should add more memory to the system. You can thrash your system with excessive paging.

  8. #8
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    If it is a notebook (or another computer) and you want "suspend/sleep/hibernate" then it is required.

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    Folks already mentioned swap and sleep/hibernate. Not sure if you even need a 1 to 1, swap to ram ratio to enable suspend to work. Could experiment with whatever distro(s) you prefer and see where the cut off would be, resizing swap along the way with any good partition tool. Though guess would be a lot of aggravation to go through..

    For low RAM systems think a good performance tweak is lowering swappiness to 10. Most distro's come default with it set at 60. Though overall, yep ... for modern systems with tons of RAM think a swap for the most part will never be used.

  10. #10
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    I've got an Ubuntu netbook with only 1GB of RAM, and so I do the old "swap space = 2x RAM size" trick.

    This allows me suspend to disk and occasionally my swap space does get used when I am browsing the Internet with an inordinate amount of tabs open. All those Javascript engine instances and all those pages and pages of HTML data, and the page rendering caches, and video buffers can choke 1GB pretty easily.

    I think the less memory you have, the more you will rely on swap. An ordinary desktop with 4GB of RAM probably won't use swap unless you do really computationally heavy tasks (like 3D graphics, video editing, manipulating photographs, etc.) or if you just use your desktop as a server and have more than like 4 people logging in at once.

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