ASU - out of memory?

Tilman Baumann tilman at
Thu Aug 21 16:05:18 CEST 2008

Tilman Baumann wrote:

>> i'd think it would make little sense so make the system
>> that fragile. fix the memory usage issue - don't just "get more slow slow slow"
>> ram. :)
> As i said, i had made the experience that it improved the system 
> greatly. Shouldn't we just test it?
> Perhaps, that is what i will try to do with my Neo1973 soon...

This is how swap was used after launching some apps simultaniously 
(tangogps, navit, browser, mediaplayer) using them for some time and 
then shut them down again:
              total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        126268     111008      15260          0       1304      68736
-/+ buffers/cache:      40968      85300
Swap:        64720         44      64676

These 44kbytes came only some minutes after swap was enabled and used. 
And they came only in a few chunks.

44kbyte are not very impressive, but they prove my point never the less.
This memory is obviously waste. It stays in swap for ages. Not much 
saved, but anyhow. It is memory that did not need to be in ram.

I would assume with more complex software like it is coming for 
freerunners (enough ROM for bloatware) this will sightly increase.

And regarding the point of wasting power with io on the swapfile.
Sure, i did not measure real io. But just looking at the output of free 
  via watch shows pretty clearly that swap is virtually not used in 
regular usage.
Ergo, in case no emergency is present, swap is not used and no harm is 
done. (Besides saving some kbyte of real RAM)
But IF memory becomes a problem, swap comes to rescue.

(Found no real world way to really excessively use mem and drive the 
kernel into swapping in the short time. But the result seems pretty 
obvious to me. No crash but graceful performance breakdown)

Based on this quick survey, i would say there no way swap could bring 
any danger or adverse effects.
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