Interactivity with heavy IO improved with swap disabled
jason.smith at canonical.com
Wed Aug 31 18:13:14 UTC 2011
Since about the maverick kernel (cant remember if maverick was good or
bad) any time my system does IO (compiles are a big offender here) the
interactivity of other applications, including the window manager, goes
to hell. For all intents and purposes they stop functioning until the IO
is completed. It causes my music to stop playing, the web browser to
stop working, everything.
So in desperation I started trying random things, anything I could find
on google. Finally I found the swapiness parameter, which I immediately
set to 0. This however didn't help very much. So as a lark I turned off
swap all together, and bang, everything works GREAT. IO is full speed,
desktop remains interactive, no problems at all.
In light of this, I have ordered 8GB of ram to upgrade my normal 4GB.
That said I never consumed the full 4GB to start with and have not hit
the OOM killer once since disabling swap. I can't imagine why turning it
off has mattered at all :/
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