[nmglug] To swap or not to swap;

Ted Pomeroy ted.pome at gmail.com
Mon Nov 4 18:08:20 PST 2019

NMGLugers, Thank you Akkana and Jared. I see that I was not up on all the
factors. I have re-engaged the swap and you are correct, it is rarely used
as there is plenty of ram. The particular laptop has seen lots of use and
may have issues or problems not related to the SSD, which is performing
well. I will keep testing and exploring and narrow down the actual issues.
But glad to rule out this issue and thanks for correcting my knowledge base
on the SSD. Thank you, Ted P.

On Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 9:33 AM Akkana Peck <akkana at shallowsky.com> wrote:

> Ted Pomeroy writes:
> > I have heard that the SSD has a limited, if large, number of re-writes in
> > its lifetime. Like a usb thumbdrive it can wear out. So, if a computer is
> > heavily used would it make sense to add 'noswap' to the Grub default
> file?
> > This would eliminate the many re-writes to swap and preserve the SSD for
> a
> > longer life. Is this reasonable?
> Do you actually use swap very often? For the last five years I've
> regularly used a netbook with 2G RAM, and I saw it obviously
> swapping maybe a dozen times during those years; usually when I
> did something silly like load a bunch of big images into GIMP
> without closing most of my firefox tabs first. The computer would
> slow to a crawl.
> I always saw swapping as an emergency measure: "You messed up and
> loaded something way too big, so the computer will now let you,
> SLOWLY, save your work and quit gracefully instead of crashing."
> I certainly wouldn't want to work on a swapping computer on a regular
> basis. Either learn different habits (fewer firefox tabs, quit
> firefox before starting LibreOffice, only load 3 camera images into
> GIMP at a time instead of 10, whatever it takes), or get more RAM.
> Given that, having a swap partition available and swapping enabled
> doesn't hurt anything: most of the time it doesn't get used but it's
> a nice emergency backup if you mess up.
> A more relevant question is /tmp, which does get regularly used.
> Lots of people recommend putting /tmp on a tmpfs instead of on the
> disk. On a spinning disk, that speeds things up marginally and
> avoids seeks; on an SSD, it reduces the writes to the SSD. I haven't
> actually converted my /tmp to tmpfs and I don't think it makes a
> huge difference either way, but there are reasaonable arguments for
> doing so.
>         ...Akkana
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