[svlug] recommended percentage swap on 400G drive

Florin Andrei florin at andrei.myip.org
Mon Jan 21 12:34:12 PST 2008

Darlene Wallach wrote:
> Is 2G of swap enough for a 400G hard drive? Should I allocate
> 1% of the drive to swap - 4G? (from 

It depends on the amount of RAM, rather than the size of the disk.

For a modern desktop (1GB of RAM or more), just create a swap partition 
that's slightly larger than the RAM - let's say 1.5x. That should be 
plenty in most situations.
If the system is swapping a lot, just buy more RAM, it's cheap nowadays.

For a desktop that has plenty of RAM, the swap is more like "emergency 
brakes" - if there's some runaway process that eats up lots of RAM, 
having a bit of swap allows you to kill the offender before the OS runs 
out of memory and starts shooting innocent processes. Other than that, 
it's not (and it should not be) used too much.

Florin Andrei


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