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Author Topic: Is Swap File Necessary with 2 gig of RAM?  (Read 1965 times)
TLM
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« on: March 08, 2009, 10:15:07 am »

Hello,
My hat is off to VL, the fastest and most user friendly distro out there! More needs to be done to promote it!! My question: I have VL 5.91 SOHO (paid Deluxe Version) installed on a homebuilt machine with 2 gig of RAM. I set up a 512 mb swap partition, however every time I go into Ksysguard, it is showing that none of it is being used. I am getting ready to do a new install, and I am wondering if I even need a swap partition with 2 gig of RAM? Thanks!
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MikeCindi
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 11:18:07 am »

VL 5.9.1 may never go over 2Gb of RAM but I've read (though not experienced) that certain aspects of the kernel expect a swap partition to be present. I'm assuming that this necessity is not relating to suspend/hibernate. Perhaps someone else can be more authoratative on this. But if you're not pressed for disk space then I'd recommend having a swap partition. The size will be based on preference more than utility I think.
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wcs
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 12:24:12 pm »

Quote
I'm assuming that this necessity is not relating to suspend/hibernate

As mikecindi said, if you want to hibernate you might want to have as much swap as ram.
Otherwise, I would keep it at 512... it's not like it's going to be used much anyway.
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d_s
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 12:36:48 pm »

I cannot speak for VL, but, as far as I know, swap is nowadays not needed at all - UNLESS you want to use it for hibernation. Right now I'm operating a system with 770MB RAM without swap Smiley Even a SUSE can run on this, but VL is much faster.
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caitlyn
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 01:39:34 pm »

As previously mentioned tuxonice uses the swap partition for hibernation.  Swap has to be at least as large as your total RAM for this to work, in your case 2GB.

Swap was never needed if you had adequate RAM for the tasks you run.  It is always needed if you don't.  At 770MB I can think of a number of resource intensive apps that would use swap.  There are some that would use it even at 2GB. Some commercial real-time 3D modeling software which I've had to support comes to mind immediately.    It all depends on what software you use. 

I still put swap at 2X RAM on all systems I support with 2GB RAM or less for commercial clients.  With today's huge hard drives it's not a bad idea in any case. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 01:51:20 pm »

The only time I would recommend not using a swap partition is with a solid state flash drive.  Like in the original Acer Aspire one, or EEE pc.  Swap writes to these drives constantly and this can really shorten the life of a solid state drive.
Ken
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TLM
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 02:28:37 pm »

Thanks to everyone who responded. The only reason I was considering going swapless is because I am doing a triple boot, and if I have read correctly, I am limited to 4 partitions on a hard drive, unless I start creating logical drives. So that left me with a partition for XP, a partition for Win 7 Beta, and then 2 partitions for the root and home for VL. Can I still create a 5th partition as swap? Thanks again for all the input Smiley
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 02:50:03 pm »

Thanks to everyone who responded. The only reason I was considering going swapless is because I am doing a triple boot, and if I have read correctly, I am limited to 4 partitions on a hard drive, unless I start creating logical drives. So that left me with a partition for XP, a partition for Win 7 Beta, and then 2 partitions for the root and home for VL. Can I still create a 5th partition as swap? Thanks again for all the input Smiley

You don't need those VectorLinux partitions to be on a primary partition. If you want to have primaries for XP and Win 7 beta, you can partition the rest of the drive as an extended partition. Then create your VectorLinux partitions including your swap.

VectorLinux does not need to be on a primary partition. I don't think it is on any of my three computers. At the one I'm writing this on, I have a FAT32 partition for Windows/Linux file sharing and three partitions for different versions of VL plus a 512 meg swap all on one extended partition (80 gig drive). I've had the drive set up that way for years and everything has always worked fine. The only primary partition on the computer is /dev/hda1, which is a FAT32 partition on which I have a small Win 98SE installation for some old but occasionally important programs that lose some functionality under XP. The rest of the drive is an extended partition with six logical drives. Windows XP is installed on /dev/hda8 (Drive G). /dev/hda1 is the only partition on the whole system with a boot flag.

The NT boot loader lives in /dev/hda1 (Drive C) and it boots Win 98SE, Win XP, and VectorLinux.
--GrannyGeek
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Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
nightflier
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2009, 09:40:55 pm »

The normal limitation is four primary partitions, but more logical drives can be created in an extended partition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning
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