Since I'm installing Ubuntu for the first time ever (please don't shoot) i have no idea how large the swap partition should be. On the one hand, I know that people recommend "double the ram unless it makes swap larger than 2GB", but I also know that to hibernate I need swap=ram... I have 4GB of ram. Should I make my swap partition 4GB also, to be able to hibernate later?

Note: the last time I contemplated installing Ubuntu was when 12.04.4 was new-ish, so my information might be out of date.

  • Just an additional note you may want to hear about: 1. Hibernation was disabled because not all hardware supports it sufficiently 2. You may find that a cold boot is faster than waking-up from hibernation.
    – Takkat
    Jul 9, 2014 at 7:29
  • @Takkat that may be, but if you have a lot of applications open, open documents etc and don't have the time to properly save and shut down, hibernation is a good solution. And in that case, it'll be faster to resume from hibernation than a cold boot and re-opening everything.
    – Jakke
    Jul 9, 2014 at 14:37
  • @Jakke Yes, that's exactly it :) Also, i'm used to using hibernation, and, well, humans are creatures of habit.
    – Pluma
    Jul 10, 2014 at 1:22
  • @Pluma hey, don't take my comment the wrong way. I never use hibernation, always save my work properly before I shut down. There's always a risk of losing more work than you're trying to save...
    – Jakke
    Jul 10, 2014 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


Swap = RAM indeed when you want to hibernate. However, it never hurts to have a little bit extra. On modern systems with terrabytes of data, 4GB is peanuts.

If you have a busy system that uses a lot of swap, I would definitely go for 8GB. Otherwise, all your swap will be killed when you hibernate and that could cause some trouble. If you rarely or never use swap, you could get closer to your 4GB, but even then it doesn't hurt to give it a little extra.

Systems that are too narrowly measured (in every sense of the words), tend to cause problems later on that cost more time and money to solve than the original extra that could've avoided the problems.

  • 2
    It is not really 4GB (1000's) but 4GiB (1024's) as RAM is counted differently than hard drive. But if you have 4GB of RAM you may never use swap unless you do need it for hibernation. If hibernating then about 10% extra (4.4 GB)is ok if you do not want to calculate the GiB equivalent.
    – oldfred
    Jul 9, 2014 at 4:14
  • Thanks a lot guys. You've been really helpful. I rarely go over the 4GB I already have but I'll heed your advice. @oldfred, Thanks for the tip! 4.4GB it is. is excited Let's do this Ubuntu thing!
    – Pluma
    Jul 10, 2014 at 1:25

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