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Re: swap not being used



also sprach David Z Maze <dmaze@debian.org> [2002.12.22.1952 +0100]:
> >                total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
> >   Mem:        516580     475844      40736          0     170540     224736
> >   -/+ buffers/cache:      80568     436012
> >   Swap:       996020          0     996020
> >
> > now say i'll start openoffice and mozilla and a couple of others, just to
> > consume RAM. the system will not use the swap space. any idea why not?
> 
> It doesn't need to.  It looks like you have 512 MB of physical RAM;
> that's a lot, even if you are trying to run Mozilla.  :-)  What you've
> posted suggests that (a) the kernel knows your swap space exists but
> is intentionally ignoring it, and (b) you have about 436 MB of ~unused
> RAM.  Until that looks like it's in danger of going, you're not going
> to go into swap at all.

Fact is: at this stage, starting mozilla and openoffice makes the
mouse go really unreactive and the computer slow. it sometimes even
just hard-locks.

i know little about the VM of linux (why should i, it's broken
anyway), but it does strike me as weird to see a '0' under used on
a system that's been up for days.

my laptop has 1Gb of RAM and another Gb of swap, and after 1.5 hours
of uptime, loading the windowmanager (windowmaker) and mutt a couple
of times, along with one instance of galeon shows this:

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:       1033792     770404     263388          0      48620     556772
-/+ buffers/cache:     165012     868780
Swap:       996020      31556     964464

afaik, the linux kernel will try to consume all the available memory
and use it internally. i've just never seen a 0 in the swap/used cell,
and the system hardlocks at times. i'll go and test the RAM too, but
right now, my guess is: swap space...

> (I think the conventional wisdom of "swap should be twice physical
> RAM" is clearly wrong these days;

why "clearly" wrong? it doesn't hurt, does it? if you give linux too
much swap, it can't deal, but 1Gb is within the bounds of the
possible...

-- 
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