I have one swap partition, and 3 installed Linux OSes. So I'm just wondering, are there any safety risks or potential problems that can come about as a result of having all 3 OSes use this partition?

Only one of them can be booted at any given time, and each one releases the swap partition when powering off/rebooting. So if I were to, say, shut down Fedora and boot into Arch, could there be issues relating to the swap? Like data from the previous OS being used by the currently booted OS? So far I haven't ran into any issues.

Should I just create a separate swap partition for each OS? I know that trying to share a hibernation file/swap partition could create issues, since another OS could try to hibernate from another OS'es data. But I don't use hibernation, since my installs are on an SSD. I've had issues with hibernation in the past (like Windows acting wonky).


Yes as long as you don't try anything weird such as hibernating one OS, then booting directly into another and expecting no issues. (One version of hibernation will save the ram directly into the swap partition.).

All you need to do is make sure that each O/S you've installed mounts the correct swap partition.

| improve this answer | |
  • All my OSes already mount the correct swap partition, I'm using the partition's UUID in /etc/fstab for each OS. I already don't use hibernation, so that will never be an issue. I only use it in an emergency (like for instance, something comes up and I have to shut down in a hurry, but want to save my current state). I would trust Linux with hibernation, but not Windows. – Enigma83 Jul 10 '16 at 13:41
  • 1
    It will be problematic also if the hibernation doesn't happen in swap - rebooting as OS after hibernation, it will experience a sudden, external change in its swap partition. It will result a lot of segfaults on the spot, although the kernel will survive, i.e. it won't hang. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 10 '16 at 15:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.