Thoughts on swap..

So, if I have a system that’s running the most barebones, slimmest, text-only install of openSuse 11.4-64 via the “text only” option from the installer menu, should I really need a swap partition if I have 8GB or 16GB of ram? Keep in mind, I only use this computer to run one program. The highest memory footprint I’ve ever seen it use was 1.27GB, and even that was like watching Free-Willy do that huge jump out of the water. It might never use that much ram again. So, just in my case, for my one program, on my system loaded up with ram, what purpose could a swap partition serve?


No, for that you don’t need swap.

I probably don’t need swap either, though I have it configured. Mostly, when I run the “free” command, it shows me using zero swap. However, if I download and burn a CD or DVD, that will push up the swap usage.

On 04/29/2011 05:06 PM, VolumetricSteve wrote:
> just in my case,
> for my one program, on my system loaded up with ram, what purpose could
> a swap partition serve?

do you ever intend to hibernate the system? or suspend to RAM?

if not, and if you are certain what ever you are running is not gonna
suddenly spring a leak and fill up whatever RAM you have…then . . .

i’m not trying to be nosy, but does that one application produce
something…and, i guess write it to disk constantly? might you get a
boost in app speed if it didn’t write constantly but instead kept the
cpu busy calculating and filling ram, and THEN wrote to disk in a burst?

and, are you so short of disk space that you just can’t dedicate some to

[and let me ask: why would you have 16GB knowing you will never need
more than 1.27? you wanna sell some of your unneeded?]

i’m not a real guru…but, it is my understanding that it is very
possible to run linux with a swap partition…but, i don’t know to do it
(because, since i don’t have any monster Windows code on my machine i
can allow a little swap space)…others around here know more…in fact
we had almost this same discussion within the last 30 days…use google
to find/read it…

[openSUSE 11.3 + KDE4.5.5 + Thunderbird3.1.8 via NNTP]
HACK Everything →

Thanks for the replies, I’m looking forward to trying this when I get home.

I have 16GB of ram because the machine in question is a multi-purpose machine, and I might be using it to run virutal servers later on down the line.

I’m not looking to sell any ram, but you can get your own :slight_smile: - SAMSUNG 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model MV-3V4G4/US

You have 16 GB of RAM?

It’s cheap these days.

You don’t need swap. To be safe, sure, add a couple gigs but if you get into a mess where you need more than 16GB, I doubt it will help much.

Why would you worry about several GB of swap, since if you can afford to buy 16GB of RAM, you can certainly afford to buy TBs of HD and a few GB of swap space would hardly make a dent in such a disk? I’ve got lots of RAM but I specified some swap since it doesn’t hurt, but is good to have in case, and if it doesn’t get used, it doesn’t affect performance at all.

It’s funny the things people worry about until they put things in proportion.