Itching point of curiosity...

Derek Broughton derek at
Mon Apr 6 00:49:36 UTC 2009

Ray Parrish wrote:

> David Curtis wrote:
>> On Sat, 4 Apr 2009 14:23:05 -0500
>> Chris Mohler <cr33dog at> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 2:17 PM, Ray Parrish <crp at> wrote:
>>> [...]
>>>> The thing that has me puzzled, is where exactly are these anti virus
>>>> applications, and their updates being installed to?
>>> Into RAM (tempfs).
>> I'm not sure about Ubuntu, but Knoppix (another live cd) will
>> automatically use an existing swap partition, if found.

And note that tmpfs filesystems are _in_ the swap space.

> Thanks for that bit of information. Now I'm wishing even more that my
> Ubuntu Live CD would still work, so I could check to see if it will use
> an existing swap file as well. Woops I forgot! That won't work on my
> system anyway, I don't have a swap partition, as I screwed up during a
> re-installation of Ubuntu, which was necessary after messing up, and
> freezing up the Gparted Live CD while resizing partitions. I neglected
> to create a swap partition then, so I'm using a swap file instead.

Ah - now that's an interesting twist on the swap file vs swap partition
discussion.  It hadn't occurred to me that we do have a number of things
(like live CDs) capable of recognizing a swap partition - it's a simple
matter of reading the partition table after all, but finding swap _files_
is more difficult.

Another issue with swap partitions (of course, the prime reason why you want
to use them) is that they get used for hibernation storage.  If you
hibernated a system, then booted from a liveCD, it still wouldn't find the
swap partition, because it no longer has a valid signature (thankfully, or
it would be able to overwrite your saved data).

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