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But if a swap is already configured and managed by the system, additional virtual memory may be unnecessary and it may be better to leave the default settings unless you know what you are doing.

Instead of using a dedicated partition, some systems (especially Windows) will store their virtual memory in a special file.

The commands below will show you how to determine whether it is enabled or not, and if it is, it's size and configuration.

Open a terminal or SSH/VNC to your server - these commands are all performed in a terminal or shell.

It will answer a lot of questions outside the scope of this article.

A quote from the Paging (swap file) article on Wikipedia: (emphasis on the second paragraph for its clear explanation) "In computer operating systems, paging is one of the memory-management schemes by which a computer can store and retrieve data from secondary storage for use in main memory.

Unfortunately, other than configuring the below sysctl settings, resizing swap partitions is outside the scope of this article.

You should be aware that reading/writing from disk (even Digital Ocean's lightning fast SSDs) is at least several times slower than reading/writing from real system RAM.

While it is never a good idea - especially with web, mail, db servers - to rely heavily on virtual memory, DO's SSDs help using virtual memory be less painful and more logical.

It is entirely possible your configuration already makes use of virtual memory.

Because of this, I personally recommend anyone, on nearly any system - be it a droplet, dedicated server, your Windows PC or Mac or even your Android tablet or phone - should have at least a small amount of virtual memory enabled.

Virtual memory allows your system (and thus your apps) additional virtual RAM beyond what your system physically has - or in the case of droplets, what is allocated.

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