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64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

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Seen

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:39 am

64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

So I've finally decided to setup a dual-boot for OpenSuse x64 and Windows 7 on my new notebook.  (I've been running OpenSuse in a VM just because I like that my new system can run multiple VMs simultaneously!)

I was wondering, what should the size of the swap partition be?  I used to make it double the amount of RAM, so when I had 512 MB I made it 1 gig.  But now I have 8 gigs of RAM, which would make the swap 16 gigs which seems too big.  I've never used a 64-bit version of linux before, so does anyone have any suggestions as to how big the swap should be with 8 gigs of RAM?  Also, my OpenSuse system will be on an SSD drive if that matters.

I did a Google search on this first and (surprisingly) didn't really come up with any useful tips.
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TheXero

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:55 am

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

To be honest, I don't even have a swap partition (I have 6GB of ram)

I've not had a problem with my machine unless all of the ram is used, then it just goes really slow for a few minutes until some is free
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vekarman

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:43 am

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

@Seen,

In old days, when memory cost was sky high, we used to have double-the-ram size swap partitions. Now as they are cheaper, swap size is not of concern. I had seen server with 64GB Ram running Unix flavors with very small swap partition. However, it entirely depends on what you are going to do with system. If it is a dbserver or something heavy, then we need to consider swap size.
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Seen

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:53 am

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

I'm primarily going to use it as an attacking machine.  So running john the ripper, nmap, nessus, metasploit, etc.  In fact, I'm considering either triple booting OpenSuse, Backtrack 5, and Windows.  Or I might just use Backtrack instead of OpenSuse.

I also tend to have a lot of Firefox tabs open, which I know uses up a lot of memory in Windows at least.
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eth3real

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:32 am

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

My laptop was setup with Linux, plenty of hard drive space, 6 GB of RAM, and no swap partition. I was getting ready for a presentation on WEP cracking last month. I had no problem until I started collecting IV packets. I would only get to about 3,000 or so before the laptop would just crash.

It took me a while to figure out the problem, but all I did was use GParted on a LiveCD to shrink my Linux partition and add a 2 GB swap partition. No more problem.
Put that in your pipe and grep it!
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Seen

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

Thanks eth3real, I think I'll add a 2 or 4 gig partition to be safe.

If I decide to triple boot Backtrack, OpenSuse and Windows 7, can Backtrack and OpenSuse use the same swap partition?  I assume so, but I've never had 2 linux installations before
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eth3real

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Post Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:31 pm

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

Glad I could help. I believe that if you have a swap partition, any distro will utilize it (unless you use some bootup option like noswap on Knoppix). Not sure if this will work if you put the swap partition in LVM.
Put that in your pipe and grep it!
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vekarman

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Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:33 am

Re: 64-Bit Linux Swap Partition Size Recommendation

I agree with eth3real. As you would be using it as an attacking machine, many tools at many times, it is advisable to keep a swap partition. You never know when you need it. May be any new utility may require more memory. Then swap partition can come handy.
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