7.3 To Swap or Not to Swap
Swapping is an essential component of most Linux workstation and server installatations. It enables the system to address more memory than is physically available by emulating the additional memory on a storage device. Most embedded storage devices, such as flash and DOC devices, however, are ill-adapted to this use, because they have limited erase and write cycles. Since your application has little control over the kernel's use of swapping, it is therefore possible to accelerate the wear on the storage device used for swapping. Hence, I encourage you to find alternatives to swapping. Try reducing your applications' memory usage and having only the minimal set of binaries required for your system's proper behavior loaded at any time.
Of course, if your storage device is a real hard disk—not a CF card—then swapping is a viable option. The use of swap may, however, result in slower response times.