Desktop responsiveness and swappiness

Brian C. Huffman huffman at
Wed Mar 1 17:22:13 UTC 2006


I hate to open up this can of worms....b/c I know that it's been
discussed in depth before, but what is the current sense as far as
swappiness settings for desktop machines and in specific laptops?

I have just gone back and read a lot of the emails regarding this
including the ones from Andrew Morton where he says that he runs his own
desktop machines with a swappiness of 100.  

Unfortunately, there are a couple of differences for me:  1) I'm using a
laptop and the drive is generally slower than desktops and 2) I don't
often (if ever) compile a kernel so I'm not looking for a faster
long-term experience (as with compiles).  I'm looking for snappiness and
low latency on *any* apps that I have loaded on the desktop: window
manager (metacity), firefox, openoffice, evolution, and even VMWare.

So what are the thoughts / experiences of others?  I've just set my
swappiness to 10 from 60 and it *appears* to me that things are snappier
and open quicker.  I'll have to watch this long term to see if my
initial impressions are accurate.

Also, would the choice of IO scheduler matter here?  I see that CFQ is
the default.


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