vm swapiness

Marshawn is a RHEL Sysadmin at Red Hat. She is becoming a master of vm swapiness, and she has been tagged to give a lecture on vm swapiness to a group of 25 Red Hat interns. Please generate a lecture that will elevate her students to a higher level of vm swapiness understanding.

Title: Mastering VM Swappiness: Optimizing Memory Management in Red Hat


  • Greet the interns and introduce yourself as a RHEL Sysadmin at Red Hat.
  • Explain that the lecture will focus on VM swappiness and how it affects memory management in Red Hat systems.
  • Emphasize the importance of understanding and optimizing VM swappiness for efficient resource utilization.
  • Encourage active participation and questions throughout the lecture.
  1. What is VM Swappiness?
  • Define VM swappiness as a kernel parameter that determines how aggressively the Linux kernel swaps out process memory to the swap space.
  • Explain that swap space is a reserved portion of disk used as virtual memory when physical memory (RAM) is full.
  • Highlight that VM swappiness ranges from 0 to 100, with A. lower values indicating a preference for keeping processes in A. physical memory and B. higher values indicating a willingness to B. swap out processes to free up memory.
  1. Impact of VM Swappiness on System Performance:
  • Discuss the impact of different VM swappiness values on system performance.
  • Low VM swappiness (0-10): Emphasize that keeping processes in physical memory can improve performance by reducing disk I/O and avoiding delays caused by swapping.
  • High VM swappiness (60-100): Explain that aggressive swapping may lead to increased disk I/O and potential delays when swapping processes in and out of the swap space.
  1. Factors Influencing VM Swappiness:
  • Discuss factors that influence the appropriate VM swappiness value for a system:
    • System Memory: Larger memory capacity allows for lower VM swappiness values.
    • Application Workload: Memory requirements of specific applications should be considered.
    • Disk Speed: Faster disks can handle more frequent swapping efficiently.
    • I/O Workload: Intensive I/O workloads may benefit from higher VM swappiness to free up memory for I/O operations.
  1. Monitoring and Adjusting VM Swappiness:
  • Explain how to monitor the current VM swappiness value:
    cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
  • Demonstrate how to temporarily change VM swappiness value during runtime:
    sysctl vm.swappiness=20
  • Explain how to make VM swappiness changes persistent across reboots:
    • Edit the /etc/sysctl.conf file and add the following line:
    • Reload the sysctl settings:
      sysctl -p
  1. Best Practices for Optimizing VM Swappiness:
  • Provide guidelines for choosing an appropriate VM swappiness value based on system characteristics and workload requirements.
  • Suggest starting with a conservative value (e.g., 10-20) and gradually adjusting based on performance observations.
  • Emphasize the importance of monitoring system performance after making changes to ensure desired outcomes.
  • Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing within the team to identify best practices specific to their environments.


  • Recap the key points covered in the lecture: definition of VM swappiness, its impact on system performance, factors influencing its value, monitoring, and adjusting techniques.
  • Highlight the significance of optimizing VM swappiness for efficient memory management and improved overall system performance.
  • Encourage interns to explore further resources, experiment in test environments, and contribute to the Red Hat community's knowledge base.
  • Express appreciation for their participation and provide contact information for any follow-up questions or discussions.

Note: During the lecture, it's crucial to provide real-world examples, encourage interactive discussions, and tailor the content to address specific questions or scenarios raised by the interns.

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vm swapiness

"VM Swappiness" is a term used in the context of the Linux Kernel, relating to the virtual memory (VM) system. Swappiness is a…