[talk] Does swap still matter?

George Rosamond george at ceetonetechnology.com
Wed Mar 16 11:03:26 EDT 2022

This has been an on and off debate I've had with myself and others, and 
wanted some input from others. Input from live experiences is great, 
input from low-level devs is even better.

When RAM never seemed adequate for a system in the past, the utility of 
swap was obvious. You would see the spikes on top(1) when swap was hit.

swap = 2 x RAM, blah blah.

Today, when those 64G or more of RAM are the norm for bare-metal boxes, 
and it's overkill in many contexts, is swap still necessary?

Do certain applications/OS functions still use swap as opposed to RAM 
for some reason? I mean, swap is normally encrypted by default, so there 
is a justifiable reason to use swap over RAM.

I know encrypted RAM is a (small) part of the universe today, including 
with the Ryzen pro series.

Looking forward to being enlightened.


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