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I'm running Ubuntu 20.04 on a Lenovo X1C 7th Gen with 16GB RAM. The swap is set to 2GiB.

Just after entering edit mode on a photo in Google Photos (in Firefox), which I'm pretty sure has a serious memory leak (because I've seen it increase memory consumption and slow down the system), the system froze like this:

Hitting swap limit cauzed freeze

It stayed like that for a good 3 minutes, with the mouse cursor barely dragging along (good luck taking a screenshot). Eventually it recovered. As you can see, there was plenty of RAM available.

What was going on, and how can I prevent this? /proc/sys/vm/swappiness is the default, 60.

2 Answers 2

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I've had something similar. Swap is generally expected to be between 1 and 2 times RAM so suggest you increase that. See https://linuxhint.com/change_swap_size_ubuntu/

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Since I've set swappiness to 10, I've never had this problem. Also, as Jons suggested, it makes sense to have much more swap, and I don't understand why Linux Mint for example, creates a tiny 1GB swap file on a system with 16GB RAM.

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