[clug] to swap or not to swap that is the question

Kim Holburn kim.holburn at anu.edu.au
Wed Jun 30 09:35:10 GMT 2004

On 2004 Jun 30, , at 6:47 PM, Sam Couter wrote:

> Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog at svana.org> wrote:
>> This idea of scaling swap according to the amount of physical RAM you
>> have always seemed a little odd to me...
> At the risk of making an arse of myself again...
> I think the logic was that if you needed more than (X x RAM) swap 
> space,
> the machine was going to be unusably slow anyway, and performance
> wouldn't improve by having any more swap available. Values for X
> probably vary widely, but I've always been told the value of 2. Disk
> space wasn't always as cheap as it is now, so this rule of thumb was a
> way of not dedicating too much of an expensive resource to a single 
> use.
> With memory prices the way they are these days, you can probably 
> afford a
> desktop machine that doesn't *need* any swap at all.

Yeah well this was what my question was about.  I have a number of 
machines, servers that have no hard Disk at all.  But one of them has 
been going unstable.  It seems that it was running out of memory.  I 
thought linux would handle this gracefully but no, parts of the kernel 
in this case were crashing.  The machine would limp on but with the 
part of the kernel that mounts and unmounts disks gone, or email and 
syslog not functioning.

Kim Holburn
IT Manager, Canberra Research Laboratory
National Information and Communication Technology Australia
Ph: +61 2 61258620 M: +61 417820641
Email: kim.holburn at anu.edu.au  - PGP Public Key on request
Aust. Spam Act: To stop receiving mail from me: reply and let me know.

Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
                           -- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961

More information about the linux mailing list