SWAPON(2) Linux Programmer's Manual SWAPON(2)
swapon, swapoff - start/stop swapping to file/device
#include <asm/page.h> /* to find PAGE_SIZE */
int swapon(const char *path, int swapflags);
int swapoff(const char *path);
swapon() sets the swap area to the file or block device specified by path. swapoff() stops swapping to the file or block device specified
swapon() takes a swapflags argument. If swapflags has the SWAP_FLAG_PREFER bit turned on, the new swap area will have a higher priority
than default. The priority is encoded within swapflags as:
(prio << SWAP_FLAG_PRIO_SHIFT) & SWAP_FLAG_PRIO_MASK
These functions may only be used by a privileged process (one having the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability).
Each swap area has a priority, either high or low. The default priority is low. Within the low-priority areas, newer areas are even lower
priority than older areas.
All priorities set with swapflags are high-priority, higher than default. They may have any nonnegative value chosen by the caller.
Higher numbers mean higher priority.
Swap pages are allocated from areas in priority order, highest priority first. For areas with different priorities, a higher-priority area
is exhausted before using a lower-priority area. If two or more areas have the same priority, and it is the highest priority available,
pages are allocated on a round-robin basis between them.
As of Linux 1.3.6, the kernel usually follows these rules, but there are exceptions.
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.
EBUSY (for swapon()) The specified path is already being used as a swap area.
EINVAL The file path exists, but refers neither to a regular file nor to a block device; or, for swapon(), the indicated path does not con-
tain a valid swap signature or resides on an in-memory file system like tmpfs; or, for swapoff(), path is not currently a swap area.
ENFILE The system limit on the total number of open files has been reached.
ENOENT The file path does not exist.
ENOMEM The system has insufficient memory to start swapping.
EPERM The caller does not have the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability. Alternatively, the maximum number of swap files are already in use; see
These functions are Linux-specific and should not be used in programs intended to be portable. The second swapflags argument was intro-
duced in Linux 1.3.2.
The partition or path must be prepared with mkswap(8).
There is an upper limit on the number of swap files that may be used, defined by the kernel constant MAX_SWAPFILES. Before kernel 2.4.10,
MAX_SWAPFILES has the value 8; since kernel 2.4.10, it has the value 32. Since kernel 2.6.18, the limit is decreased by 2 (thus: 30) if
the kernel is built with the CONFIG_MIGRATION option (which reserves two swap table entries for the page migration features of mbind(2) and
migrate_pages(2)). Since kernel 2.6.32, the limit is further decreased by 1 if the kernel is built with the CONFIG_MEMORY_FAILURE option.
mkswap(8), swapoff(8), swapon(8)
This page is part of release 3.27 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
Linux 2010-06-15 SWAPON(2)