Max swap size?

Jeff Schroeder jeff at
Wed May 28 23:40:57 MDT 2008

Stephen asked:

> Does a 4 GB swap partition seem excessively large to anyone?

Yes, it does.  Maybe there's some kind of memory-crazy application that 
runs on the server, but if so I would expect that for performance 
reasons you'd drop 8GB of RAM into it rather than crunch through swap.

A rule of thumb I heard a long time ago was that swap should be anywhere 
from half to equal to the amount of RAM on a machine.  So if you have 
1GB of RAM, a swap partition of 512MB - 1GB would be appropriate.  But 
I don't know if that's based in some kind of technical theory or if 
it's just a random setting people like. :)

You commented that the 4GB swap drives were part of a RAID-1 array, 
which seems silly (if I understand you correctly).  There's no reason 
to mirror swap data, and in fact it'll slow down the already dog-slow 
use of the partition.

In short, I'd say it would be better all around to have a 1GB swap 
partition (not RAIDed) and be done.

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