Linux Add a Swap File – Howto

Step #1: Login as the Root User

Open a terminal window (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal) or login to remote server using the ssh client. Switch to the root user by typing su – and entering the root password, when prompted

Step #2: Create Storage File

Type the following command to create 512MB swap file (1024 * 512MB = 524288 block size):
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile1 bs=1024 count=524288

Where,

if=/dev/zero : Read from /dev/zero file. /dev/zero is a special file in that provides as many null characters to build storage file called /swapfile1.
of=/swapfile1 : Read from /dev/zero write stoage file to /swapfile1.
bs=1024 : Read and write 1024 BYTES bytes at a time.
count=524288 : Copy only 523288 BLOCKS input blocks.
Step #3: Set Up a Linux Swap Area

Type the following command to set up a Linux swap area in a file:
# mkswap /swapfile1

Setup correct file permission for security reasons, enter:
# chown root:root /swapfile1
# chmod 0600 /swapfile1

A world-readable swap file is a huge local vulnerability. The above command make sure only root user can read/write to the file. Finally, activate /swapfile1 swap space immediately, enter:
# swapon /swapfile1

To activate /swapfile1 after Linux system reboot, add entry to /etc/fstab file. Open this file using a text editor such as vi:
# vi /etc/fstab

Append the following line:
/swapfile1 swap swap defaults 0 0

Save and close the file. Next time Linux comes up after reboot, it enables the new swap file for you automatically.

How do I Verify Swap is Activated or Not?

Simply use the free command:
$ free -m

1 Comment

  1. Nice, it is very helpful .. Keep posting good things sandeep…

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