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Ive learned that one should allot a swap space inorder to have Hibernate option in Ubuntu, Why isnt it same with Windows? My Win 7 doesnt have any Swap space but still hibernates without a glitch.

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It is possible to make Windows put the pagefile on another partition. –  Dalton Miller Dec 1 '11 at 15:13

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Typically a swap file is used when the RAM is exceeded to free the RAM by storing its content to a swap file. In Windows environments this is a file (usually pagefile.sys) which is stored on the system partition. In Linux it is recommended to create an extra partition for swap. As far as I know this is not needed, you should be able to hibernate without an extra partition because linux should be able to use a file, too. For further information: http://superuser.com/questions/21020/can-i-hibernate-linux-without-a-swap-partition

The advantages of an extra swap partition are:

  1. Security: Linux wipes the swap file securely before shutdown so nobody can restore it.
  2. Performance: You may wish to map your swap partition to an SSD to increase speed.
  3. Even if your system partition is full, you have some space for your swap data.
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Why was this answer accepted? It completely misses the point of the question. The question is asking why Ubuntu needs swap to hibernate, not what is a swap partition and why should you have one. –  psusi Dec 2 '11 at 1:09

Windows uses a file for that instead of a partition. According to wikipedia

A file, "hiberfil.sys" is used to store the contents of RAM when the computer hibernates, and is always the same size as the total RAM. A hidden system file resides in the root of the system partition, usually "C:\hiberfil.sys".

Regarding why linux uses a partition by default. Honestly, I don't know, but I guess it's because of performance reasons.

Edit: As pointed out in a comment, you can also swap to a file as explained in the answers to this question.

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You can use a swap file in Linux. You typically don't as to try to avoid filesystem overhead. –  user606723 Dec 1 '11 at 15:54
    
@user606723 You're right, I'll update my response to make it clear that a file can also be used. –  jcollado Dec 1 '11 at 16:40

Linux uses the swap partition for both paging and hibernation. Windows uses a separate file for each. It uses pagefile.sys for paging, and hiberfil.sys for hibernation, so while you might not have a pagefile, you still have a hibernation file.

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+1 for answering the question! –  richard Aug 11 '13 at 20:05

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