Constantly running out of swap space

Adam Vande More amvandemore at
Thu Sep 17 18:16:04 UTC 2015

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 12:56 PM, Bernard Higonnet <bthcom at>

> Using FreeBSD 10.2
> I'm using a swap file set up as described at
> No matter what size I make it (last time 4GB) I run out of swap space on a
> VPS with 768KB RAM. Space is being used by amavisd/clamd which is
> apparently notorious space hungry, but it's clear to me there's a problem
> somewhere. Everything works OK for a while (a few hours? on a system with
> very little traffic (100 emails a day...)) and then runs out of space.
> I assume amavisd/clamd are not using swap space explicitly and the OS
> decides on is own that swap space is needed

Only the kernel controls VM, not userland.  Userland tools can only make

> Any suggestions?

If it was me, I'd remove any file backed swap you may have already added
and then configure whatever is using swap to consume less.  In your case,
amavisd/clamd have settings which will do so.  I would also eliminate any
unnecessary services on the box.  Your VPS provider may also be able to
provide you with a separate block device which can be used as dedicated
swap although I would avoid doing that under most circumstances.


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