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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

Please do not CC me! Mutt (www.mutt.org) can handle this automatically.
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
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