SUMMARY: Swap is using the /tmp directory.

From: Lubbers, Louis (
Date: Fri Sep 15 2000 - 09:56:23 CDT

I received many helpful responces, thank you very much.

>I set up a Solaris 7 system without a swap partition. I don't want it to
>swap out, because it will impact the performance too much. However, the
>system is now using the /tmp directory as the swap space. The /tmp
>has a maximum size of 8248 KB, as reported by df -k. This fills up really
>fast so I cannot use it any more to store temporary files. How can I
>the the 8284 KB value?

The swap is not actually using the space in the directory /tmp on the root
partition. The swap is made up from the internal memory left over after the
boot + the swap space you set through a swap partition and/or swap file. So
if you were to install an application, the swap the above 8248 KB would
smaller because less internal memory is left over. There are two tmp
directories: /tmp and /var/tmp. Files stored in the first one are deleted
with a reboot and files stored in the second one survive a reboot. The idea
is that users use the second tmp directory for storing temp files.

The swap is controlled in the /etc/vfstab file. To delete the swap all
together delete the entry that begins with swap. However, this is not
advisable, because there are resources that live better in swap space, they
would slow the system down if they were forced to live in the internal

To add swap space do the following:

mkfile 128m /.swapext.swp
swap -a /.swapext.swp

Of course, you can choose another location then /.

To make this change permanent, add the following line to you/etc/vfstab (use
tabs not spaces):

/.swapext.swp - - swap - no -

Of course, the "official" way to make permanent swap space is to create
swap partition rather then a swap file. The swap partition you make when
you install your Solaris. It is possible to do this later, but this is very
involved and risky.

Useful manpages:
swap, tmpfs

Useful URLs:


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