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While I was installing Ubuntu 13.10, it asked me to make a swap partition. I made it ~5.6GB, as I didn't know what it was or anything.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Simply said it is an additional space provided for the operating system to increase it's operating memory. It allows for running more software at once or to operate with larger data.

Something alike also exists in windows, only they implement it as file on a new file system, which is likely done for efficiency.

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Is it really nessecary to have a 5.6GB swap partition in a computer with 6GB of ram? – llamah Apr 26 '14 at 18:30
It's not strictly necessary, but will be use if you hibernate your system. That's why it's size (at least) matches your RAM size. See… – Huge Apr 26 '14 at 18:36

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