How to increase the swap partition in Linux Mint and Ubuntu. How to create a Swap file in Linux

In this article, using Linux Mint and Ubuntu as an example, we will learn how to view information on the swap partition, create a swap file, and also increase the space available for swap.

The swap file is a specific place on permanent storage (for example, on a hard disk), where data that does not fit in RAM is temporarily dumped. That is, it is an opportunity to increase the amount of RAM without buying RAM modules. But such a “virtual” RAM is slower.

You can view the current size of the swap partition with the command:

swapon --show

Or with the free command:

free -h

Or with top:


As you can see, there is a 2 GB swap file on the system, which, let's say, is not enough.

Disable and delete this paging file with the following commands:

sudo swapoff -a
sudo rm -f /swapfile

There must be enough space on the disk to fit the swap file of the size you specified.

To create an 8G swap file (change the value as you wish) run the command:

sudo fallocate -l 8G /swapfile

Then run the commands:

sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
sudo mkswap /swapfile
sudo swapon /swapfile

Open System Monitor to make sure the system uses the swap file:

Or you can do it with the command:

swapon --show

That's all! You don't even need to reboot your system for the changes to take effect.

By the way, if you go again to change the size of the paging file (up or down – it doesn’t matter), then exactly follow the same instructions again, but specify a different size when creating the paging file.

How to delete swap file in Linux Mint and Ubuntu

To completely remove the paging file, run the commands:

sudo swapoff -a
sudo rm -f /swapfile

Then open the /etc/fstab file:

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

And remove the line from it:

/swapfile none swap defaults 0 0

Error “fallocate: fallocate failed: Text file busy”

If you encounter an error:

fallocate: fallocate failed: Text file busy

This means that you want to create a swap file, but a file with the same name already exists and is still in use.

To disable and remove it, run the commands:

sudo swapoff -a
sudo rm -f /swapfile

Managing Swap files on other Linuxes

To increase or create a swap file on other distributions, see the articles:

How to create a swap partition on another drive

You don't have to use the system disk for the swap, which can be low on space. You can create a partition on any drive in the system. For details, see the instruction “How to create a swap partition not on the system drive. How to move the swap partition to another disk”.

How to check swap file usage in Linux

Stress testing the system in a out of RAM scenario: How to check Swap file usage in Linux

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