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What’s Linux Swapping and how to check the swap space?

Linux RAM is composed of chunks of memory called pages. To free up the pages of RAM, a “linux swap” can occur and a page’s memory is copied from the RAM to preconfigured space on the hard disk. Linux swaps allow a system to harness more memory than its originally available in physical.

However, swapping  has disadvantages. Because hard disks have a much slower memory than RAM, virtual private server performance may slow down considerably. Additionally, swap thrash can occur if the system gets swamped from too many files which is being swapped in and out.

To check if any swap files is enabled on the VPS by looking at the summary of swap usage.

sudo swapon -s

An empty list will confirm that you have no swap files enabled:

Filename                Type        Size    Used    Priority