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037. Why Isn't My Virtual Memory Swap Area Working?




Description

This article is from the Frequently Asked Questions for Linux, the Free/Open Source UNIX-like operating system kernel that runs on many modern computer systems. Maintained by David C. Merrill with numerous contributions by others. (v1.0).

037. Why Isn't My Virtual Memory Swap Area Working?

A: When you boot (or enable swapping manually) you should see

Adding Swap: NNNNk swap-space

If you don't see any messages at all you are probably missing

swapon -av

(the command to enable swapping) in your /etc/rc.local or /etc/rc.d/* (the system startup scripts), or have forgotten to make the right entry in /etc/ fstab:

/dev/hda2 none swap sw

for example.

If you see:

Unable to find swap-space signature

you have forgotten to run mkswap. See the manual page for details; it works much like mkfs.

Running the command free, in addition to showing free memory, should display:

total used free Swap: 10188 2960 7228

If typing cat /proc/swaps reveals only file or partition names, but no swap space information, then the swap file or partition needs re-initialization.

Use fdisk (as root) to determine which partition on a hard drive has been designated as the swap partition. The partition still needs to be initialized with mkswap before enabling it with swapon.

[Andy Jefferson, Steve Withers]

 

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