View Full Version : How to determine what's causing your desktop to swap?

June 3rd, 2014, 06:31 PM
It's Google Chrome and/or Chromium browser.


June 4th, 2014, 05:48 AM
I think if you want some discussion, you'd better explain what it is you want to discuss. My system has 16GiB of ram, and the only time it even comes near to using any swap is if I have a couple of VM's running, I have allocated 4 cores and 8GiB of ram to Windows 8, and all other VM's have 2 cores and 4GiB of ram:

free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 15946 15551 394 45 105 13537
-/+ buffers/cache: 1908 14037
Swap: 1999 1 1998

June 10th, 2014, 01:22 AM
If it's purely about swap and swap is hitting the HD hard, then the best way I've found is to install/run iotop using the -o option and look for what processes hog the HD.
sudo apt-get install iotop && sudo iotop -oIt's not the be-all-end-all. In cariboo907's case, it won't tell you what specific processes within a VM are the culprits and will just maddeningly cite the general VM process instead. But for most independent Linux processes, it will give at least an idea of what is causing the logjam.

June 10th, 2014, 06:36 PM
Not enough physical memory. What else? ;) Many apps have such large footprints these days that I think 4GB is becoming the minimum memory size needed to avoid a lot of swapping.

If you're seeking culprits, browsers are probably a good place to start. If I have both Firefox and Thunderbird running on my 1.8 GB Atom machine, switching between them can sometimes take a minute or two. I have a lot of mail folders so my TBird instance is also fairly large.