Size of swap partition during installation


 
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# 1  
Old 08-20-2009
Size of swap partition during installation

Greetings. I've been into computers since the '80s, but this is my first attempt at Linux.

I'm installing Debian Lenny on a PIII 733 with 10GB hard drive and 512MB Ram. I intend to use the machine primarily as a development server, with things like mySQL, Apache, php, etc.

I don't really want to mess around with partitions first time through, so I went for the option of one big partition. It gave me 9.8 GB primary and 477.0 MB swap. I am a little concerned that the swap partition might be too small, I have seen it written elsewhere that a good rule of thumb is twice as much swap space as physical RAM.

So in your opinion do I have anything to worry about here, should I override the default swap size?
# 2  
Old 08-22-2009
My suggestion is to, let it go for couple of days.
1. If you found that your system seems slower .. check with the free -om or top and ensure whether the swap becomes an issue.

2. If there are no issue at all, check with the free -om and top, and monitor for the free space in cache. If most of the times swap is used almost full, then you can consider extending the swap size.

And as of now there is no need to do anything urgent, i believe. And as like you, am also expecting a good answer for this question.
# 3  
Old 08-22-2009
I've installed Debian Lenny on a 800mhz Duron with 160mb RAM and 500mb swap. With Enlightenment as the window manager using Firefox with several tabs open and running some other applications at the same time, RAM usage hardly ever touches 100mb and swap usage can be neglected (less than 10%). After boot with Enlightenment up and running, memory usage is under 40mb. Of course, if you start every daemon at boot and running several memory hungry applications (like firefox, open office, etc.) you may experience poor performance.
I don't know what kind of mySQL development you are planning to do, but my guess is that you should be ok for most development purposes. If your system is getting sluggish I suggest you get more RAM.

Hope this helps

Last edited by Leppie; 08-22-2009 at 09:00 PM..
# 4  
Old 08-22-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leppie
I've installed Debian Lenny on a 800mhz Duron with 160mb RAM and 500mb swap. With Enlightenment as the window manager using Firefox with several tabs open and running some other applications at the same time, RAM usage hardly ever touches 100mb and swap usage can be neglected (less than 10%). After boot with Enlightenment up and running, memory usage is under 40mb. Of course, if you start every daemon at boot and running several memory hungry applications (like firefox, open office, etc.) you may experience poor performance.
I don't know what kind of mySQL development you are planning to do, but my guess is that you should be ok for most development purposes. If your system is getting sluggish I suggest you get more RAM.

Hope this helps
thanks to both of you. It sounds like I'll be ok, and this is just a dry run anyway. My development needs will be pretty lightweight. This machine is pretty much for learning, and that includes starting at ground0 with linux. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up repeating the install a time or two to deal with the fine points.

Now if I can only get my wireless working. I have no problem with learning the ins and outs of bash shell commands and editing my .bashrc and all that, but at the moment I'm out to lunch when it come to figuring out whether or not my hardware is working properly. All I know is, I had a wired connection going at the setup stage, cause I could connect to a mirror to download (using apt I guess) a desktop environment. After all these years, I'm a newb again. Smilie
# 5  
Old 08-22-2009
you could search this forum for the wireless card model number and ubuntu or debian. if you cannot find an appropriate solution, you can post your issue in the Linux/Ubuntu sub forum.

good luck

PS: unless the requirements for your development projects change drastically or you damage the system beyond repair with one of your projects, you should not have to reinstall the system (it's not windoze)

Last edited by Leppie; 08-22-2009 at 11:12 PM..
# 6  
Old 09-16-2009
not sure about Debian, but Red Hat used to follow this regarding swap at least around version 5 days.
  1. Systems with 4GB of ram or less require a minimum of 2GB of swap space
  2. Systems with 4GB to 16GB of ram require a minimum of 4GB of swap space
  3. Systems with 16GB to 64GB of ram require a minimum of 8GB of swap space
  4. Systems with 64GB to 256GB of ram require a minimum of 16GB of swap space
# 7  
Old 09-16-2009
The "twice as much swap as ram" rule of thumb comes from the good 'ol days when you never, ever had enough RAM and always burdened your system to the breaking point. The performance cost of waiting for swap is much higher than it used to be since CPU and RAM have sped up much faster than disk seeking; you'd need a RAID for multiple gigs of swap to be useful now. I never give more than a gig of swap for single-disk systems, usually just 512M.

That sounds like a good system to install Linux on. Smilie Old enough to be cheap, powerful enough to be useful. We used one for 3 years for everything you want plus file storage, DVD burning, and a hefty live database on top of that, often at the same time. A PIII can do a lot if you don't put Windows on it...

Last edited by Corona688; 09-16-2009 at 04:18 PM..
 
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