SUMMARY: swapfile vs swap partitions

From: Dave Hightower (
Date: Tue Apr 18 1995 - 00:57:30 CDT

Well, the consensus was that using a swapfile as opposed to
a swap partition is slower, mainly because you have to go through
the filesystem and OS, whereas a swap partition uses a straight
dump to the drive.

Some people also warned about disk fragmentation, and how that
would slow down the swapping; the swap partition will obviously
always be contiguous.

Using a swapfile is suggested in those instances when your users
are running temporary memory-intensive applications, or as an
interim measure when you upgrade a system's memory (until you can
repartition the drive).

Thanks to: (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child}) (Phil Gaskell) (Kenneth P. Okenka) (Don Lewis)
        Boyd Fletcher <> (Russ Poffenberger) (Jeff Marble)
        Reto Lichtensteiger <>
        Paul Caskey <>
        Bruce Skidmore <>
        Nate Itkin <>
        Dan Stromberg - OAC-CSG <>
        "Lau, Victoria H" <> (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services)
        David Lee <> (Bonnie Lucas)
        Kai Grossjohann <>

The original question:

> Some things that I have read indicate that some locations are using a
> swapfile instead of a "swap partition" to better control the size and
> location of their swap space.
> Currently we use the "b" partition of our boot hard drive for swap space,
> and we size it to be twice the size of our physical memory. This creates
> a problem when we increase the memory in our systems, as we are then
> required to reformat and repartition.
> So the question becomes: Is there any performance information comparing
> an actual "swap partition" to a swapfile? is one faster than the other?
> Would performance suffer were we to use a swapfile instead?

Dave Hightower | opinion? I'm allowed to have an opinion?
Systems Manager | well, if I DID have one, it'd be mine, all mine!
Air Force Wargaming Center | "Dum vivimus, vivamus!" |

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:10:22 CDT