To swap or not to swap

Frank Shute frank at
Thu Dec 4 15:32:50 PST 2008

On Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 04:56:52PM +0000, Anthony M. Rasat wrote:
> Fellas, I need opinions. Asus Eee PC, SSD storage, 512MB RAM, with
> GNOME and other desktop thingy (testing out of curiousity).
> Question is, swap or no swap? Remember, this is SSD, it is
> reasonable to have no swap. However, what if I wanted OpenOffice?
> This beast is memory hog AFAIK. Thanks for opinions.

What you need to do to make an informed decision is to get the
characteristics of the SSD. How many writes can each cell stand? Does
it have any wear levelling firmware?

I'd be tempted to have swap and if it starts to crap out, replace with
bigger/better SSD which as things stand should have improved write
durability. There are already (or coming out) new SSDs with improved
write performance & wear levelling, which if the manufacturers are to
be believed, out perform electro-mechanical HDs in durability

As Wojciech says, I'd dump Gnome & use some lightweight WM like
fluxbox so all your memory isn't sucked up & you start to go into
swap. ie. hit swap as little as possible by your choice of softs (am
glad I use LaTeX ;)

The alternative to not having swap is a machine that on occasion could
run out of memory. I don't know what happens in those circumstances
but I doubt if it's pretty.

> -- 
> Regards,




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