Q: Reason for partitioning scheme?

Emmet Hikory emmet.hikory at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 19:19:15 UTC 2007

On Dec 14, 2007 2:59 AM, Markus Hitter <mah at jump-ing.de> wrote:
> So, my favorite for a desktop is a two partition design. One for /
> and one for /home.
> If you miss a swap partition, you've read correctly. With 2 GB or
> more of physical RAM these days, there is no real need for swapping
> at all. Unfortunately, Linux doesn't support variable sized swap
> files for emergency cases (AFAIK), but my current system runs without
> any swap just fine.

    While many users may not encounter the use of >2GB RAM, it is
certainly possible in a desktop environment (and significantly more
likely for lower-spec machines).  One of the great advantages of
having a swap partition is that everything becomes unbearably slow in
a runaway memory situation, as opposed to the system losing arbitrary
processes to the OOM-killer.  When in such an unbearably slow state,
the user can typically either stop the offending process, log out
(which likely stops it) or in the worst case reboot (which will stop
it).  On the other hand, if the OOM-killer leaves the user without a
functioning way to call up the logout dialog, the user is
significantly more likely to try a hard reboot, which doesn't perform
the disk sync, and may well result in a long boot time for fsck due
the the filesystems being in an inconsistant state.


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