Q about swap size

Robert G. (Doc) Savage dsavage at peaknet.net
Sun Jul 11 16:10:17 UTC 2010

I've been running Fedora on my old Thinkpad A22p (P-III/M w/512MB) since
FC4 or before, upgrading from one version to the next using the same
partition sizes. For F13 I increased the size of /boot, but kept swap at

        # fdisk -l /dev/sda
        Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
        255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
        Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
        Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
        I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
        Disk identifier: 0x000304c6
           Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
        /dev/sda1   *           1          64      512000   83  Linux
        Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
        /dev/sda2              64       14463   115658752   83  Linux
        /dev/sda3           14463       14594     1048576   82  Linux swap / Solaris

The last couple of releases have run agonizingly slowly with very high
load averages (between 2.x and 10.x).

I just read
which recommends a minimum of 2GB swap size for memory sizes up to 4GB.
I've been using 2x RAM for swap size ever since the 2.6 kernel was
introduced. At the moment (running 'yumex') 'top' indicates:

        top - 10:43:15 up 2 days, 6 min,  5 users,  load average: 8.62, 6.84, 6.26
        Tasks: 244 total,   7 running, 237 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
        Cpu(s): 60.7%us, 23.5%sy,  9.2%ni,  0.0%id,  0.0%wa,  5.4%hi,  1.3%si,  0.0%st
        Mem:    509800k total,   502624k used,     7176k free,    16280k buffers
        Swap:  1048568k total,   317372k used,   731196k free,   101944k cached

This indicates only about 30% of my 1GB swap is being used. Would
increasing that to 2GB have any affect on the load average performance?

--Doc Savage
  Fairview Heights, IL
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