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Why not swap to files?

This isn't really a debian-specific question, but this is my favorite
linux list by far.

By default most linux distributions request and almost require that the
user setup a swap partition. What is the advantage of swapping to a
partition rather than swapping to a file? In my machine I have a /swap
directory. As needed I can create files in this directory using dd as
per the mkswap manpage and then swap on that.

This is obviously more flexible, and since it's the same drive either
way, the only possible performance hit would be if the kernel made a

I've been thinking of setting up a background task to watch `free` to
see if I need more or less swapspace and automatically add or remove it
as necessary. Since I have 64M of ram this hasn't been a big priority,
just something I thought would be fun.


Robert de Forest
sysadmin for got.net

Cogito, ergo sum.    -  I think, therefore I am. 
Cogito, ergo doleo.  -  I think, therefore I am depressed.

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