Ubuntu – Am I unable to create a SWAP partition


I created the SWAP partition in GParted after resizing my Ubuntu partition. All the operations went off smoothly. When I right-clicked the SWAP drive, it showed "SWAPON", so I clicked it & it activated the SWAP. Then I restarted the machine & it showed the SWAP as SWAPON again, so I hit it & it failed to activate it giving this error message:

Then I shut down the machine & restarted. The HDD looks like this now:

Then I tried to format sda15 to linux-swap & it could not do it giving the error message:

Just to give a bit of context, I asked a question before on how to repartition my Ubuntu hard disk: How can I see where Ubuntu has been installed on my HDD? I repartitioned (and actually reinstalled) Ubuntu, but now I want to create a SWAP partition.

Best Answer

  • Why not just create a swap file in unused space? Quick and easy:

    For Adding a 512MiB swap

    Creating a file for 512MiB  adjust size as desired to the size you want: 

    We will create a /mnt/512MiB.swap swap file and set the permissions so that users cannot read it directly.

    sudo fallocate -l 512m /mnt/512MiB.swap sudo chmod 600 /mnt/512MiB.swap

    fallocate length suffixes are: k, m, g, t, p, e (See man fallocate).

    By default your swap file may be created world readable. We set the 600 mode permissions in order to prevent users from being able to read potentially sensitive information from the swap file.

    If fallocate fails with "fallocate failed: Operation not supported" as it currently does on my Maverick machine, you can do this the old way, again 512 mebibytes:

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/512MiB.swap bs=1024 count=524288 sudo chmod 600 /mnt/512MiB.swap

    Formatting that file to create a swapping device: 

    sudo mkswap /mnt/512MiB.swap

    Adding the swap to the running system: 

    sudo swapon /mnt/512MiB.swap

    The additional swap is now available and can be seen by cat /proc/meminfo or free

    Making the change permanent: 

    Edit the /etc/fstab:

    gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

    Add this line at the end of the file:

    /mnt/512MiB.swap none swap sw 0 0

    Save. After the next reboot the swap will be used automatically.

    Example of making a swap file

    This is an example of making and using a swap file on a computer with no swap partition. Enter the command below and your password when prompted: sudo fallocate -l 512m /mnt/512MiB.swap

    Then this command:

    sudo mkswap /mnt/512MiB.swap

    Output will be similar to the below.

    Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 536866 kB

    no label, UUID=dd6a01c8-93f0-41e0-9b7a-306956d8821b

    Then issue the command:

    sudo swapon /mnt/512MiB.swap

    The following command shows you the results:

    cat /proc/meminfo

    MemTotal: 499496 kB

    MemFree: 9156 kB

    Buffers: 4748 kB

    Cached: 233140 kB

    SwapCached: 724 kB

    Active: 254432 kB

    Inactive: 157920 kB

    HighTotal: 0 kB

    HighFree: 0 kB

    LowTotal: 499496 kB

    LowFree: 9156 kB

    SwapTotal: 524280 kB

    SwapFree: 523556 kB

    Dirty: 128 kB

    Writeback: 0 kB

    Mapped: 243420 kB

    Slab: 20672 kB

    CommitLimit: 774028 kB

    Committed_AS: 648680 kB

    PageTables: 2224 kB

    VmallocTotal: 524280 kB

    VmallocUsed: 5708 kB

    VmallocChunk: 518176 kB

    Make the change permanent by editing your fstab

    gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

    Add the line:

    /mnt/512MiB.swap none swap sw 0 0

    A simple command to see usage is:


                  total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
     Mem:        499496     479488      20008          0       8256     215892
     -/+ buffers/cache:     255340     244156
     Swap:       524280       3856     520424

    Then, after running a few more programs...


                  total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
     Mem:        499496     492768       6728          0       1240     142336
     -/+ buffers/cache:     349192     150304
     Swap:       524280      53384     470896

    Next, reboot to make sure it will work consistently.


                  total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
     Mem:        499496     493136       6360          0       7528     174700
     -/+ buffers/cache:     310908     188588
     Swap:       524280      17148     507132

    Source: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq