A few questions about FreeBSD

Matthew Seaman matthew at FreeBSD.org
Fri Sep 29 06:53:44 UTC 2017

On 29/09/2017 06:37, Manish Jain wrote:
> 1) As a desktop system, is it needed to have a swap partition at all ? 
> My system is AMD Athlon X2 270 with 8 GB DDR3 RAM and no swap, running 
> KDE4. The box works wonderfully for me.
> Is swap advisable for 8 GB ? 4 GB ? 2GB RAM ?
> Less than that much is essentially unheard of nowadays.

How much swap to configure depends very much on your workload.  Nowadays
however I think the assumption is that you should have enough RAM to
contain your whole workload /without/ actively swapping.  Some inactive
memory pages may still be swapped out -- but these tend to be only a
small amount and the system wouldn't really suffer if it couldn't swap
them out.  Swap then becomes principally the backing store for things
like tmpfs.

OTOH, it is actually very easy to use up many GB of memory for normal
desktop activities.  Some web browsers are notorious memory hogs.  So
having swap available to act as a buffer should you run out of available
RAM is still a good idea -- it saves on the alternative, which is the
kernel arbitrarily killing off large processes in order to relieve the
out-of-memory condition.

How much swap to allocate?  I think for "small" memory systems -- say up
to 4GB -- the old rule of swap = 2 * RAM is still a good one.  For
bigger memory systems, allocating twice that much as swap is just
wasteful.  Maxing out at 8GB swap would not be unreasonable.  But these
are just rules of thumb, and should be adapted to whatever your workload
actually requires.

> 2) Since I do not use video-chat, I needed some tips about video-chat 
> software that works well under FreeBSD. Would that be Jitsi ? Skype ?

I know iXsystems has a video chat solution that works well in Firefox on
Trueos.  Most Video Conferencing setups rely on WebRTC support in your
web browser, which in theory should work fine with FreeBSD, but in
practise seems to be very OS and version dependent.  IIRC, Google
Hangouts have been known to work with Chrome on FBSD, but no idea if
that is still the case -- they stopped working with Firefox on many
platforms over the last few months (which was down to Firefox changing
things, not Google.)



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