After nearly 18 years of administering various Linux systems, one would think that I know something about setting up a swap partition. So the rule is 3 times your physical memory. Why oh why did I think 20x would be a good idea?
Just finished setting up the last HP Vectra I had on the shelf. I've given away 35 out of the 36 I was given. Each one of them with a fresh copy of VL on them. Starting with VL 5.8 Gold. Each time I broke out a calculator and figured 3 x physical memory when setting up the swap partition. This time I only had 128 MB of pc100 memory left. So I came to the conclusion that 2048 MB swap would be a good idea. Seems funny now.
After three days of fighting with a system that took 12 minutes to load google.com, took 8 minutes just to log out of tty2, I finally figured out the problem was this huge swap partition I had created.
Turned swap off with
that helped a lot. I was then able to slapt-get --install gparted. With gparted now up and running I just did a quick and dirty resize of the swap space down to 384 MB. That was a lil painful in that gparted really needs more than 128 MB to run on x. But I sat thru it till the changes were committed. Didn't even bother to shut down gparted before I switched to tty2 and turned swap back on with
Several minutes went by while memory management straightened itself out. The system gradually started to respond again. Then bam, right back up to normal speed! That was a painful lesson in swap space. Don't think I will ever be doing that again.
HP Vectra specs:
P3 @ 450MHz
128 MB physical PC100 RAM
384 MB swap (was 2048 MB)
60GB EIDE Hard disk
VectorLinux 6.0 Gold Standard w/ Google Chrome