Re: Swapfile

Jurgen Botz (
Mon, 02 Oct 1995 11:36:26 -0400

Dirk-Jan Koopman wrote:
> Is it really necessary? We go to all this trouble to optimise access by
> careful layout and block allocation in ext2fs and then blow the whole lot
> out of the water by partitioning the disc in such a way as to maximise
> the head movement (and thus minimising apparent computer speed and
> usability) when we have to swap.
> In the olden days of George 3 (wonderful operating system) we could at
> least 'pie chart' file system discs with swap partitions - this worked
> very well - but my original question still holds, can we not just use
> 'special' files in ext2fs?

You can use swapfiles, but to actually optimize things such as to minimize
head-movement would be tricky at best, and the gains have to be traded off
against the loss of going through the file system.

There's a very simple and cost-effective solution, however... swap to
a different disk. A 200MB disk makes a very roomy swap space and can
be bought for, what, $100? Not only do you eliminate competition for
head position between stuff being paged in/out, but you also get some
nice parallelism.