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Linux Zswap Still Aiming For Compressed Swap Caching

Linux Kernel

Published on 09 January 2013 02:23 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
6 Comments

A second version of the Zswap patch-set for the Linux kernel was published this week. The Zswap patches provide compressed swap caching support to compress pages in the process of being swapped and compresses them into a dynamically allocated RAM-backed memory pool.

Zswap attempts to avoid writing back to the swap device in order to reduce I/O and yielding greater performance in scenarios where swapping does take place. When building the Linux kernel under heavy memory pressure, it's been reported by the lead Zswap developer that using the new technology can lead to a runtime reduction of 53% and an I/O reduction by nearly 80%.

The lead use-cases for Linux Zswap are systems with limited amounts of system memory, virtualization where VM guests are sharing common I/O resources, and systems backed by solid-state drives where reducing the number of writes to the disk can increase the SSD's life-span.

In Zswap v2, the set of nine patches have been re-based to the latest Linux "-next" kernel and there's various technical fixes to the code.

More information on the latest state of Zswap is available from this kernel mailing list post for the newest patches. Zswap is a possible candidate for merging into the Linux 3.9 kernel.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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