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Managing Swap Files and Partitions

Managing swap files and partitions may be a necessary system administration task, if our system ever runs low on memory. In this activity, we will be creating a swap partition and a swap file. We will also be looking at activating and deactivating swap space, viewing swap usage, and making swap space available persistently. At the conclusion, we will understand how to work with swap files and partitions when needed to augment system memory.

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Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 30m
Clock icon Jan 17, 2020

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Create a Persistent 1 GB Swap Partition

    Using fdisk, create the swap partition:

    sudo -i
    fdisk /dev/xvdg

    Press the following to create the partition:

    • n for new partition
    • Enter to select the default (primary) type
    • Enter for the default first sector
    • +1G for the size of the partition
    • t to change the type
    • L to list the types
    • 82 for Linux Swap
    • w to write changes and quit

    Execute mkswap to format the partition:

    mkswap /dev/xvdg1

    Add an entry to /etc/fstab:

    /dev/xvdg1   none     swap    defaults        0 0

    Verify swap partition is activated:

    swapon -s
    swapon -a
    swapon -s
  2. Challenge

    Create a Persistent 512 MB Swap File

    Use the dd command to create a 512 MB /root/extra.swp file:

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/root/extra.swp bs=1M count=512

    Format and activate the /root/extra.swap by executing mkswap:

    mkswap /root/extra.swp
    swapon /root/extra.swp

    Set more secure 0600 permissions using the chmod command:

    chmod 0600  /root/extra.swp
    ls -l /root/extra.swp

    Add an entry to /etc/fstab to activate the swap file:

    /root/extra.swp none swap defaults 0 0

    Activate the swap file entry:

    swapoff /root/extra.swp
    swapon -a
    swapon -s

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