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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Understanding swap partitions - SOLVED!
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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VictorVictor5

Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan 2013, 20:46    Post subject:  Understanding swap partitions - SOLVED!  

Greetings everyone,

Ok, after going back and reading the help notes, I want to see if I'm on the right track with swap partitions. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

A swap partition is basically "emergency RAM" that can help out out systems when running programs. A general rule of thumb is 2 x RAM, so in my case 384 MB x 2 = 768 MB partition for swap partition (so in essence it will give me 1 GB memory - 768 MB swap + 384 onboard RAM).

The swap partition should be formatted ext2.

Am I way off here?

Thanks!
VV5

Last edited by VictorVictor5 on Wed 16 Jan 2013, 22:58; edited 1 time in total
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bark_bark_bark

Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 795
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan 2013, 21:24    Post subject:  

there is a special type of format for swaps partitions. But don't use a swap on:

-a Flash Memory Card (SD, MicroSD, CompactFlash, etc.)
-USB thumb drive
-Solid State Drives

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11025
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan 2013, 21:44    Post subject:  

As I understand a swap partition, it has no specified or defined filesystem, so it is not formatted in the usual sense of the word. It is just.....swap. Virtual memory. Puppy uses it if it runs out of RAM, which is unlikely with 384 MB of RAM unless you watch video or do things with very large files such as image files. In any case, if you can add more RAM to the computer, I highly recommend that you do it.
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James C


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 5721
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan 2013, 22:09    Post subject:  

Might help...
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1369433

A hint...... one of the options in GParted is "linux-swap".
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amigo

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2236

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jan 2013, 14:27    Post subject:  

The partition type should be '82'. Linux partitions meant for filesystems are type '83'. As Flash sort of points out, they need not be formatted with any filesystem at all. Instead of being formatted as a filesystem, they are formatted as swap space using the 'mkswap' command -which basically just divides the partition into 4K 'pages'.
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VictorVictor5

Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jan 2013, 22:58    Post subject:  

Cool - thanks everyone for their feedback.

James C - saw what you were talking about in GParted. Just went that way.

Thanks!
VV5
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3220

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jan 2013, 23:19    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
Puppy uses it if it runs out of RAM, which is unlikely with 384 MB of RAM unless you watch video or do things with very large files such as image files.


wrong....maybe 2gigs and over, but you'll be using it all the time to initialize programs, etc, with 384 MB.
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capicoso

Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 172
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan 2013, 00:24    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
Flash wrote:
Puppy uses it if it runs out of RAM, which is unlikely with 384 MB of RAM unless you watch video or do things with very large files such as image files.


wrong....maybe 2gigs and over, but you'll be using it all the time to initialize programs, etc, with 384 MB.

In a 32bit puppy i could never break 1gb ram. I do lot of audio work, lots of programs running at the same time with jack, also some video.
On a 64bit yes, i'm at >1gb easily
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11025
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan 2013, 01:33    Post subject:  

For over 5 years I've run various Puppys exclusively from multisession DVDs. Currently my computer has 4 GB of RAM, but for the first few years after I started using Puppy my computer had first 256 MB then 512 MB of RAM, and no hard disk drive, thus no swap memory. Puppy never ran out of RAM in that computer except once, when I tried to install OpenOffice. That's what I based my statement on.
bark_bark_bark wrote:
there is a special type of format for swaps partitions. But don't use a swap on:

-a Flash Memory Card (SD, MicroSD, CompactFlash, etc.)
-USB thumb drive
-Solid State Drives

Actually using flash memory for swap is reported to work well. Even Windows uses it. Laughing
Flash drive controllers spread the writes around so that the "wear" is not concentrated in one area. Writing to a flash memory is what "wears" it out, but it takes 100,000 to 1,000,000 writes before errors begin to creep in. That would be many years for most applications. Even then, error correction codes are used so that no data is lost as long as only a few errors occur.
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Dewbie

Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1783

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan 2013, 04:34    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
Quote:
Puppy never ran out of RAM in that computer except once

I run a range of Puppies, from 4.1.2 to Wary 5.2.2.
Max RAM usage with this setup is about 317MB, regardless of version.
(Specs: PII / 350MHz / 320MB RAM / 267MB swap)
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2013, 02:28    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
Flash wrote:
Puppy uses it if it runs out of RAM, which is unlikely with 384 MB of RAM unless you watch video or do things with very large files such as image files.


wrong....maybe 2gigs and over, but you'll be using it all the time to initialize programs, etc, with 384 MB.


I find that Firefox regularly leaks all over my RAM, eating all of my 1GB RAM (I should note that my machine with 2GB doesn't seem to do that).

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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3220

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2013, 04:14    Post subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:


I find that Firefox regularly leaks all over my RAM, eating all of my 1GB RAM (I should note that my machine with 2GB doesn't seem to do that).


Noticed this link; might be worth a try

http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/939920
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2013, 17:54    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
RetroTechGuy wrote:


I find that Firefox regularly leaks all over my RAM, eating all of my 1GB RAM (I should note that my machine with 2GB doesn't seem to do that).


Noticed this link; might be worth a try

http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/939920


Thanks, I look into that.

I've been using a script to clean the RAM cache (I think that Bruce wrote the functional piece -- I like to monitor it's action). Whenever FF starts acting goofy, I run it a couple times...

Code:
clear
echo " Initial free space"
free
echo ""
echo " clearing cache"
sync && echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo ""
echo " Final free space"
free

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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3220

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2013, 18:43    Post subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:


I've been using a script to clean the RAM cache (I think that Bruce wrote the functional piece -- I like to monitor it's action). Whenever FF starts acting goofy, I run it a couple times...

Code:
clear
echo " Initial free space"
free
echo ""
echo " clearing cache"
sync && echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo ""
echo " Final free space"
free


That probably won't do it. Run a search on caches in /root and everything is still there. Try RamBack and Memory Restart...you can monitor and clear it easily.
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2013, 01:23    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
RetroTechGuy wrote:


I've been using a script to clean the RAM cache (I think that Bruce wrote the functional piece -- I like to monitor it's action). Whenever FF starts acting goofy, I run it a couple times...

Code:
clear
echo " Initial free space"
free
echo ""
echo " clearing cache"
sync && echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo ""
echo " Final free space"
free


That probably won't do it. Run a search on caches in /root and everything is still there. Try RamBack and Memory Restart...you can monitor and clear it easily.


Actually, that does drive the crud out of the RAM (which is the problem). FF (or something related to FF) loads up the RAM to just under 1GB, that operation will usually push the used RAM down to 3-400 MB.

I added in some of the tools you recommended, and it seems to behave a little better. Still effectively overflowed once (the one widget shows RAM usage -- and that time it was at 600MB), but I was pushing it pretty hard (lots of open tabs).

Once place where it regularly clogs up is Facebook (and it will generally load up there, with only 1 or 2 tabs open -- I'll see how the add-ons help).

For reference, I just opened FF, and went straight into Murga. I have 2 tabs open, and the FF monitoring plug-in is showing between 140 and 150 MB used for FF.

That behavior really cramps a low RAM machine.

Edit: Now that's interesting. The FF monitoring too is showing 140MB, but top shows VSZ as 448M (47% of RAM).

I'll have to do some reading to see what the monitoring tool is tracking...

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