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SubjectExaggerated swap usage

Forgive me if I don't provide enough information just yet, or am not
clear enough. I simply don't know what setting to tweak.

I'll explain.
In recent 2.4.20 pre and rc kernels ( I tend to use the ac branch ), I
had notice my system, when using X mainly, got terribly slow after some
use. It surprised me that when I tried 2.5.47 this did not happen at
all, since I thought my problem was a lack of memory - the system has
384MB -.
Hence I tried to find where the difference was. What I found is that
2.4.20 kernels - 2.4.19 does the same -, was swapping just too much,
while there was a lot free memory on the system, cached but free.
I disabled all swap and it suddenly began to work smoothly again, yet
with the random kills when memory was a scarce resource on the system.
I've tried different sysctl's vm.overcommit settings but the result is
the same.

I also found a 2.4.x kernel which did not show this behavior, WOLK, in
any version I tried.

Could you please point me toward something I can try tweaking, or some
documentation to read which explains what I can change, unless it's some
kind of kernel problem?

BTW, aa kernels behaved somewhat better on this, only that the last one
I tried -rc2aa1- had some stability problems.

I can provide you with dmesg, /proc/meminfo or whatever might be useful.

Thanks in advance :)


--
Javier Marcet <jmarcet@pobox.com>
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