Why wont you use my swap? (Low swap useage)


I have been having a bit of a strange issue as my computer seemingly refuses to use its swap memory. I mainly use rather minimal programs apart from Firefox in which I am a bit of a tab whore and also open way too many tabs, this has created a bit of an issue as I am currently using about 60% of my Ram on tabs that I have just had resting in the background waiting for their time to shine and in total my ram 5.6/8gb usage whist my Swap is 160mb/9gb. I have set my Swappiness to 70 and even still its not being used.

Computer Details

I am using Manjaro Awesome (awesome 4.3) on the 4.19.36-1 kernel on a thinkpad x250 with 8gb of ram and a 128gb hard drive (which I am using 20% of) and I also use hibernate a bit.

I would really like any help you all could give me and if you need anymore info I can supply it.

What's happening there is absolutely fine, the kernel will handle things should the cache or buffer ram be needed for anything else. To be honest, if you are not using your memory then you may as well take it out of the computer and put it on your desk. It'll be more useful there as it will at least be decorative.

You can run the command free -m to see how much of that 5.6GB is buffers/cache.

Yeah you are right I just get a little unnerved because I have often time spiraled into opening way to many tabs on my beefier computer and clocking about 14gbs of ram and having the computer freeze up attempting to put to stuff into swap at the last moment, I'll keep a screwdriver close by when I feel my ram could be better used by chucking at someone.

Cheers for responding and have a good night.

What is your problem? You have 30 % of free RAM and you want the system to swap. What for? To have 50 % free RAM? I dont get it. Be happy that the system is not using swap because swap is really slow.


I've never experienced a proper lock up due to swap but I do remember in the old days of slow mechanical drives sometimes getting a noticeable blip when swap activity happened. I also remember that in the days Windows 95/98, it was recommended to keep some ram free in case the operating system needed it and being astounded that you didn't need to do that on Linux! I imagine that Microsoft have sorted that out these days.

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