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SubjectRe: Break 2.4 VM in five easy steps
"Eric W. Biederman" wrote:

> The hard rule will always be that to cover all pathological cases swap
> must be greater than RAM. Because in the worse case all RAM will be
> in thes swap cache. That this is more than just the worse case in 2.4
> is problematic. I.e. In the worst case:
> Virtual Memory = RAM + (swap - RAM). my 512M laptop only really has 256M? Um...I regularlly run
more than 256M of programs. I don't want it to swap -- its a special, weird
condition if I do start swapping. I don't want to waste 1G of HD (5%) for
something I never want to use. IRIX runs just fine with swap<RAM. In
Irix, your Virtual Memory = RAM + swap. Seems like the Linux kernel requires
more swap than other old OS's (SunOS3 (virtual mem = min(mem,swap)).
I *thought* I remember that restriction being lifted in SunOS4 when they
upgraded the VM. Even though I worked there for 6 years, that was
6 years ago...

> You can't improve the worst case. We can improve the worst case that
> many people are facing.

Other OS's don't have this pathological 'worst case' scenario. Even
my Windows [vm]box seems to operate fine with swap<MEM. On IRIX,
virtual space closely approximates physical + disk memory.

> It's worth complaining about. It is also worth digging into and find
> out what the real problem is. I have a hunch that this hole
> conversation on swap sizes being irritating is hiding the real
> problem.

Okay, admission of ignorance. When we speak of "swap space",
is this term inclusive of both demand paging space and
swap-out-entire-programs space or one or another?

The above thoughts and | They may have nothing to do with
writings are my own. | the opinions of my employer. :-)
L A Walsh | Trust Technology, Core Linux, SGI | Voice: (650) 933-5338

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