Is swap really needed when RAM's aplenty

Phil Meyer pmeyer at
Wed Aug 18 22:05:22 UTC 2010

  On 08/18/2010 05:00 AM, Sam Varshavchik wrote:
> I'll probably have a new server with 16 gigs of RAM on the way, soon.
> With this amount of RAM being sufficient, do I really need a swap 
> partition set up? I do understand that a swap partition is needed for 
> hibernation, but this server does not need to hibernate.

Many server types can run happily without swap.

Virtual Machine servers, and or grid servers run specialized 
applications and often are installed and managed in groups of hundreds 
of servers.  Running them diskless allows much simpler administration of 
those systems.

You just need to know if the applications you run really need swap.  Now 
days, with very large memory systems, they don't need swap as a general 

Just how specialized servers used to not need swap, now days there are 
specialized servers that must have swap.  I would never run a mission 
critical database server without swap, unless it was running on a grid.  
See what I mean?

If you have over 4GB RAM on a desktop, you will probably never touch 
your swap partition.  However, if that desktop does video editing or 
image rasterizing,  then you might want some swap on it just to be sure 
it does not crash the app in the middle of a multi-day run.

Good Luck!

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