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When I'm playing minecraft, my computer often has to swap because Google Chrome takes much RAM, too. So, I'd like to manually swap out Google Chrome. I know that I can temporarily stop all its processes with SIGSTOP, but how can I force them into swap? Or is that a bad idea?

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Maybe try a command like this to temporarily use a lot of memory to force Chrome (and everything else) to swap out before starting minecraft

dd if=/dev/zero conv=block cbs=1024m of=/dev/null bs=32m count=32
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Your answer and Wyzards are both good, don't know which one to accept :D –  thejh Mar 30 '12 at 18:17
    
Give my suggestion a try and if it doesn't help minecraft responsiveness you should accept Wyzard's answer. –  Brian Swift Mar 31 '12 at 3:12
    
Well, as the problem only occurs from time to time, I can't really test based on that, but I've seen that while minecraft was running, I had 500MB free RAM, so it looks like this is a good idea. –  thejh Mar 31 '12 at 10:50
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I wouldn't bother; other processes will be paged out automatically when there's memory pressure. The kernel uses a "least-recently-used" scheme for deciding what should be paged out next, and if you stop Chrome with SIGSTOP, it won't be able to use any of its pages, so after awhile they'll be kicked out of RAM if Minecraft needs more.

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Your answer and Brians are both good, don't know which one to accept :D –  thejh Mar 30 '12 at 18:17
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If you're using them both at once thats probably a bad idea. Constant adding and removing from swap will cause thrashing which is not only bad for your hard drive, but slow.

As far as I know it is not possible, swap space is managed by the kernel. You can however mount a ramdisk as a directory if you have the spare ram.

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