Re: Swapfile

Jonathan Hankins (
Tue, 3 Oct 1995 00:11:58 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 2 Oct 1995, Kai Schulte wrote:

> On Sun, 1 Oct 1995, Dirk-Jan Koopman wrote:
> > I was wondering the other day whether, in this modern day & age, we need
> > to have separate swap partitions? What with running X, doing a longish
> > print in netscape and only 32Mb of RAM, I was swapping and couldn't I
> > hear it!
> Having an extra partition to swap to reduces file system overhead, and
> by keeping the swap partition on a separate drive you can gain further
> improvement in performance compared to a swap file within the same
> file system :)

I see what he's saying about having to seek all over the disk(s) when
swapping. Is there any feasibility in having a scheme to use a swapping
file, but have it aligned in a way so as to reduce the amount of head
movement, for example, spread it over the same cylinder, so there isnt as
much physical movement of the heads when reading or writing to the swap
area, or does the current scheme of having a separate partition keep head
movement to a minimum anyway? (I'n not sure about the way the swapped
memory is organized on the swap partition, maybe I need to RTFM a little
more ;-) But it's true--especially on slower IDE drives, the swapping
often becomes burdensome (not to find fault in Linux's swapping scheme,
but the machinery is going to have limitations no matter what, and
swapping inherently slows the system down.)

Just my $.02

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