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what is SWAP and how large a swap partition should I create?

i have the .iso file of ubuntu 12.10 and i mount in on my flash drive using universal usb installer,i also shrink my disk with result of 42.5gb that is 'free space'(i really dunno why it cant be higher than that, im planning to use 60gb for may ubuntu side) , in this first step im feel ,im doing right.

my laptop specs is 8gb of ram,i5-acer aspire-5750-6684,1tb harddrive 700gb for C:Windows7HomePremium and another D:300 is for backups/installer/etc.(this is the disk part where i cut the 42.50gb that became 'free space')

now for booting phase, i read some of steps on doing dual boot but i dunno how much will i spend for 'swap area' although i really dunno what it is? T_T

im new in ubuntu so im '0' it came to linux.i dunno if swap area can effect dual booting and bring error after installation.^^
if theres a lack of information about my specs please do remind me^^,

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marked as duplicate by Marcel Stimberg, Rinzwind, Stephen Myall, Ringtail, N.N. Dec 5 '12 at 15:21

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2 Answers 2

Swap area is the area which you allocate to use as virtual memory when you'll run out of RAM.

In old days it was a thumb rule to allocate double space of the RAM for swap. Now a days it's not must to allocate double space for Swap. You have 8 GB of RAM, you don't need to allocate 16 GB for swap. 2-4 GB will be enough for you.

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2-4 gb or swap area : NOTED ^^thx –  ning Dec 5 '12 at 14:40
    
sorry but i have a follow up question ^^ is ubuntu 12.10 uses grub2 already or i need to upgrade grub if ever? sorry for off-topic ^^ –  ning Dec 5 '12 at 14:42

As a base minimum, it's highly recommended that the swap space should be equal to the amount of physical memory (RAM). Also, it's recommended that the swap space is twice the amount of physical memory (RAM) depending upon the amount of hard disk space available for the system (although this "recommendation" dates back from a time when physical RAM was very expensive and most Unix systems ran with many processes in swap space - a situation that hardly applies in most situations these days, but ancient Unix/Linux myths like this "recommendation" tend to survive well past their "use by" dates). In reality, if you use hibernation you need what was outlined in the relevant paragraph above, otherwise you need as much swap space as your system will use - which actually may be very little in a modern hardware setup. The only downside to having more swap space than you will actually use is the disk space you will be reserving for it.

Example Scenarios

Low RAM and low disk space With 512 MiB RAM and 30 GB hard disk, use 512 MiB for swap since RAM is very low.

Low RAM and high disk space With 512 MiB RAM and 100 GB hard disk, use 1 GiB for swap since RAM is very low and hard disk space is plentiful.

High RAM and low disk space With 2 GiB RAM and 30 GB hard disk, use 1 GiB for swap since hard disk space is very low.

High RAM and high disk space With 2 GiB RAM and 100 GB hard disk, use 2 GiB for swap since hard disk space is plentiful.

For More Information : Swap

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so doing double of RAM for swap is only for ancient PC's, so for 42.5 gb of disk space, i will 2gb ram , that can be consider as default for a not so large hard disk. hmm is 42gb of HD is high for ubuntu? –  ning Dec 5 '12 at 14:49
    
The basic and I'm still following is giving double of ram . I have given 4 gb of swap for 2gb ram to the 64 gb of ubuntu partition –  AgentCool Dec 5 '12 at 17:23

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