Desktop responsiveness and swappiness

Justin Conover justin.conover at
Wed Mar 1 17:32:38 UTC 2006

On 3/1/06, Brian C. Huffman <huffman at> wrote:
> All,
> 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.

Gives you some idea about the schedulers, you can just add a grub line to
test the other 3.
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