I have read a lot of questions and answers about swap size but I am still quite confused. I have also read this article, which suggests swap size of half to two times of RAM, depending on low/high RAM and low/high disk space. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq

My question is: I am going to buy an SSD notebook with 4GB RAM, what will be the consequences if I set the swap size to be 1GB or even 512MB only? (And can I have no swap at all...?)

I do not use hibernation and I do not use software that consumes a lot of RAM. The usual activities are: listening to music, surf Internet, BT, browsing photos (not edit), converting video etc.

Thank you.

3 Answers 3


If you do not use RAM intensive software (Video/Photo Editing) you should be fine with 4GB of RAM and no swap. I have 3GB and my swap rarely uses over a 20~30kb. If you're just looking for quickly browsing the internet you should be fine with nothing.

However, i personally would recommend having at least 1GB of swap, just in case, and, as you said, you might end up with no option to hibernate.

One thing, video converting, how large? What programme? Some will expect a considerable amount stored in the RAM.


No consequences, you will be fine. It's only a problem if your system needs more memory than RAM + swap size.


My laptop has 3GB of RAM, but 1 is cached for graphics only, so actually system may only use 2GB, and common usage has never reached over 1.5GB. If you don't need hibernation, common user is more than well with 3GB RAM.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .