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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] Three Install Questions
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Re: [vox-tech] Three Install Questions



Quoting Peter Jay Salzman (p@dirac.org):

> Other than a story of a poorly understood case where multiple swaps per disk
> seemed to suppress the expression of a VM bug, can you describe what benefit
> multiple swaps per disk give?

Nope.  

But that reminds me of a point that might be tangentially relevant:  In
trying to help people with Linux problems, one tends to find that people
get themselves into the _damnedest_ fixes, i.e., peculiar or brand-new
or poorly supported chipsets, bizarre system configurations, and in
general problems that make you scratch your head and wonder "Why on
_earth_ would someone be doing that?"

I mulled over that for a long while, and have built up a hypothesis: 
Those of us who've been doing this for a long time tend to, without
really thinking about it, semi-automatically avoid most of the
aforementioned troublesome situations through habits driven into our
skulls by experience.  This doesn't make us smarter or wiser, but it
does make us, in general, _luckier_ within a limited sphere.

Thus:  It would never have dawned on me to create a single 32GB swap
partition.  I'd have instead, left to my own preferences, made three or
four smaller swap partitions if for some reason I needed even half or a
quarter that much total swap.  I'd not have been able to tell you
exactly why, but, if I sat down and tried to puzzle out why for a long
time, it would have been something like this:  "Well, I figure that
256MB to 1GB swap partitions have been reasonably common for a while,
as have multiple swaps per system, but single gigantic ones probably
haven't, which means the latter configuration might end up using code in
ways that aren't broadly tested, which means that it might trigger fault 
conditions not yet debugged because they've been seldom seen."

And, in that _particular_ situation, with that particular kernel VM, my
instincts would have been right.

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