Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 97494
(VM)Excessive swapping in spite of 200MB free RAM
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:54:51 EDT
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Description of problem:
The problem occurs on a machine with 512MB RAM and 1024MB swap. top reports
about 200MB free RAM (not actually free, but used for cache and buffers). Used
swap space varies between 15MB and 25MB.
iostat (and sar) report that the swap partition is busy (about 15 transaction
In my opinion the system shouldn't swap at all while there is enough RAM
available. Even if one considers that swapping out unused program parts to use
the freed RAM for harddisk cache might be more efficient there's absolutely no
justification for this heavy swap activity.
I've disabled swap (via swapoff) to avoid burning out yet another harddisk (one
rests in peace already due to a similar problem). This resulted in about 20MB
less free RAM, but the system appears to run fine. I'd prefer a less drastic
Are there any options in /proc/sys I could use to make swapping out less
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
2. Wait a few minutes.
3. Watch HD activity light flicker.
Actual Results: Heavy swapping.
Expected Results: No swapping.
The software running on this system is making heavy use of anonymous mmap().
Thanks for the bug report. However, Red Hat no longer maintains this version of
the product. Please upgrade to the latest version and open a new bug if the problem
The Fedora Legacy project (http://fedoralegacy.org/) maintains some older releases,
and if you believe this bug is interesting to them, please report the problem in
the bug tracker at: http://bugzilla.fedora.us/