Swappiness (was Re: W7 vs Ubuntu (Was: replacement for VLC: I dont want Qt)

Knapp magick.crow at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 21:55:10 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 7:54 PM, Smoot Carl-Mitchell <smoot at tic.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 2009-01-20 at 13:29 -0400, Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Knapp wrote:
>> So I promptly used your (and the FAQ's) suggestion of setting swappiness to
>> 10 and noticed an immediate improvement.  The system is still not as
>> responsive as I'd like, but at least the disk isn't almost permanently busy,
>> as it was.  I still need to get more memory, but I can at least get some
>> work done, now.
> Check out this link:
> http://kerneltrap.org/node/3000
> Interesting philosophical debate about swapiness.  I run my notebook
> with the default swappiness of 60.  A machine with a limited amount of
> memory and a workload which does not include a lot of big applications
> will probably benefit from reducing the swapiness of the system.  Please
> note that if you switch back and forth from one big application to
> another big application, then reducing swapiness too much may be counter
> productive. I think the optimal figure is a function of your specific
> workload and if reducing it helped your specific situation then I am
> glad the swapiness knob was made available.
> --
> Smoot Carl-Mitchell

I have 2gb of ram but click from one desktop to the other was always
slow as it would get swapped out, same with programs. Once I set the S
to 10 all the BS stopped and things are much snappier now. Sometimes I
wonder if I should try 1 or 0!

Another trick for low memory machines is to reduce the number of
windows and also CLIs that you have. Normal CLI is 7!! The only reason
I can see for having more that 2 is because you have a lot of CLI gui
programs open like top and MC and all those. The most CLIs I have ever
used was 3 (Not talking about ones opened under your GUI though). If
you are mostly using a desktop then you might even get away with just
1 being open. Also look for thinks running that you don't need. A
great big hog is Amarok. You can use the CLI program instead with just
a bit of work and save a lot of memory and CPU power. I am sure there
are other things you might do too.

Douglas E Knapp

Amazon Gift Cards; let them choose!!

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