Creating Swap Areas

Rafael Skodlar raffi at
Tue Oct 5 20:06:30 UTC 2004

Hi John,

quick and short: don't run Unix or Linux system for that matter without
a swap partition. Yes you can do it with a file but it's not efficient.
You are going to have extreme problems if the system runs out of swap or
if there is none when you load a lot of applications or services in 
your system.

General rules are to use swap big as 2 to 5 times RAM. In your case with
512MB of memory I would suggest between 512MB and 1GB. Since you most
likely won't use graphics on your system, 512MB should be enough. I have
1GB of swap, 1GB of RM on 2CPU Pentium system at work and KDE with 10
virtual screens on desktop which is just about right.

Swap is more efficient if you put it on another disk drive. Old drives 
are fine since you don't need to worry about data on them.

On Tue, Oct 05, 2004 at 09:24:12AM -0500, John J. Boyer wrote:
> Well, I'm making progress on exim4, but don't have it working yet. Anyway, 
> I have a new question.
> How important is it to have a swap partition or file? My new Sarge
> installation doesn't seem to have one. The machine has 512MB of medmory,
> but part of that is used by the on-board video.  cfdisk shows a number of
> partitions, none of which is a swap partition. One of them is CP/M / CTOS.
> What does this mean?
> If I create a swap file, what is the safest way to do it?
> The guy who made the installation didn't have any Linux experience, but he 
> was the only person willing to take the time. My computer has no floppy 
> drive. Since I am deaf-blind, and it doesn't seem possible to get a 
> braille terminal working with booting from CD, I had to find sighted help. 
> Thanks,
> John
> -- 
> John J. Boyer; Executive Director, Chief Software Developer
> Computers to Help People, Inc.
> 825 East Johnson; Madison, WI 53703


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