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Linux® Desk Reference, Second Edition by Scott Hawkins

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Introduction

The commands in this section are your tools for monitoring the physical resources (disk space, swap space, memory) and performance of your system.

Frequently, an executing program is too large for the entire program to be contained in your system RAM. In such a case, the system writes a portion of the program that is not currently executing out to disk temporarily. This process is known as paging, because the programs are broken up into units called pages. When an executing process needs a page not currently stored in the RAM, that is a page fault. Lots of page faults are bad; they can slow the system to a crawl. The portion of disk space used for paging is called the swap partition.

Disk space is cheap. Don't skimp on the size of ...

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