need swap when installing from CD host system?

Dagmar d'Surreal dagmar at
Thu Oct 24 15:44:25 PDT 2002

On Wed, 23 Oct 2002, Chris Lingard wrote:

> Guess I am old fashioned, just does not seem right to have no swap
> I think of it as an emergency reserve.  Funny enough, when it compiles
> gcc or glibc it sometimes uses a tiny bit of swap, though this depends
> on kernel version

That's probably the kernel just tossing chunks of memory that aren't busy
at the moment into swap.  2.4.x seems fairly aggressive about doing this
in comparison to 2.2.x's behaviour.  Here's a great example... Mind you,
this is almost the exact same set of binaries that I was using previously
with 32Mb of RAM with a very generous helping of server-type daemons, and
now I have 196Mb...

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        192656     187588       5068          0      33988      61984
-/+ buffers/cache:      91616     101040
Swap:       257000      40504     216496

That's essentially 40Mb of libraries and whatnot which have been copied
into swap because frankly, they're not likely to be needed in a hurry.
Yet another one of the many reasons I like Linux.

> >> the root partition is another 30Mb of memory).
> >>
> > Why? If the cd is your root partition, only the pages of programs
> > you need are actually using ram. The rest will be swap in from the
> > drive as required. If you want to keep the foot print on the cd
> > small, use mkzisofs. That way you can choose which files are compressed
> > and which aren't.
> >
> No,  the CD is mounted on the root partition.  I want it to look like
> a real Linux system, so I have a writable root, /dev and /etc
> This way you log in at level three, it has gpm, lynx and X
> You can build a simple package like bash in /tmp
> The problem with all CDs is functionality.  I do not want an installation
> menu.  Instead, the user has a real Linux system, and can read the book
> and do their own commands.

If you follow the FHS to the letter, this is actually _dead easy_, just a
hell of a lot of typing.  I'm in the middle of making a CD to this end
right now (so that I can run TASK and Autopsy from a bootable CD for
forensics investigations).  Just be sure to make a fine assortment of
kernels available to syslinux so you can be sure to pick one with the
proper disk controller driver in order to mount the CD to get your /usr
partition.  For awhile there it seemed like every video card from now on
was going to be VESA 2.0 compliant, so I've actually been sidestepping the
X configuration issue using that for the moment.  :)

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