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SubjectRe: Swap vs No Swap.
On November 22, 2001 08:11, Elgar, Jeremy wrote:
> Hum think I'm going to test this idea out tonight, quick question without
> swap at what point would the kernel stop giving memory up for cache
> purposes. For example I noticed on Tuesday whist doing a back up of a file
> system (in-line tar cd untar) I was left with ~4 Mb left having nearly the
> rest of my 2Gb Ram used for cache.

The general idea behind VM is pretty simple: keep the most frequently used
pages in the fastest storage possible. The tar backup pushed a lot of pages
that looked more frequently used in to RAM, and swapped out programs that
weren't being used at all in favour of this cache. Now that the backup is
completed, and only a small portion of the cache you used for backup is being
used, these unused cache pages can very easily be 'given up' to be used as
free memory again. A VM that -doesn't care- if it's dealing with program
pages, buffer pages, shared memory, or cache pages when making swapping
decisions is much more robust than a VM that tries to 'outsmart' itself.

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