First of all, thanks ever so much to Al and Nick for their input, and I have just read Al's Post above. Keep practising those jokes, Al, lol.
You could also reference
... where amongst others, you could see examples of eg Cinnamon, MATE, Pantheon, Razor-qt, ROX, Window Maker and others.
Now MATE is a question mark. It is a fork from Gnome 2 ... is it Gnome or non-Gnome?
To give you an example - I had been studying my own environment, prior to reading Al's link to the Gnome commits at OSDir.com.
Illustrated below with two screenshots are GParted pictures from within Ubuntu 15.10 MATE 'Wily Werewolf', the first with swapon, the second with swapoff:
Checking on a couple of other Distros revealed identical results, so I was coming to a conclusion that there might be an overhead to having swap on, amounting to 4.00KiB. This appears to be corroborated by the article Al referenced.
I'm waiting for Wiz to "enlighten" us as to where this thread is going.
Where am I going? As any number of you know by now, I like to provide Users with alternatives to best suit their needs. I myself am an advocate for no swap, as is Nick, but in both cases, we are talking about having 8GB or more RAM available to us - I have 8GB on the Toshiba and the old Acer AIO, 16GB on the Asus, &c. Elaine's old laptop only has 512MB RAM and a 60 (could be 80) GB HDD. 4GB of swap on that unit can mean the difference between my installing or not installing another Linux on it (runs LXLE 32-bit and Peach OSI BB 32-bit currently).
Currently I have 15 Linux Distros running on 3 machines, so you may have to exercise a little patience as I try them out, for my research.
I will also be adding before this weekend, to the Toshiba shown above - RoboLinux and Mageia. Mageia 15.10 I have used before and reviewed, it goes into a sulk if it does not have a /Home and a /swap, but I will look for a workaround. Mageia being RPM-based is important for my research, as is Sabayon already on (Gentoo-based), and Manjaro (Arch-based).
You will note from the screenshots that between installing Manjaro and installing MX-15 Fusion that I enabled an 8GB swap. This was to see if it allowed Wily Werewolf to boot up faster, and it does. I also know from experience that Mageia has a slow startup without swap.
Of the 10 Distros installed on the Toshiba currently, only Ubuntu (MATE - Nick may have input on Unity) is affected by the presence or absence of swap, and that is always at startup, and often at reboot or shutdown. None of the 10 is affected in any discernible way during the session they are running and that can include having (on one occasion) over 120 Tabs open in Firefox, and extensive multi-tasking simultaneously.
My disclaimer here, as mentioned elsewhere is that I do not run memory-intensive procedures such as video-editing or music-editing, Google Earth, and only the occasional VM (the latter on Zorin OS9 on the Acer).
Where am I going? Again. It is not "the scientific method" to set out to prove that you don't need swap, rather I am exploring the boundaries of where you DON'T need it, and where you MIGHT.
Bear in mind the outcomes here may help Users to choose in a more educated fashion, the Distro that might best suit their needs.
I will also be showing you at least two (2) methods of "having your cake and eating it" - with swap generated WITHOUT a dedicated Partition - "on the fly" so to speak, as the need arises, and which is eliminated once the need is no longer there.
One of these is a method which is equipment-friendly with flash-based storage devices, in particular solid state drives (SSDs). Nick, Cat and others may likely have an interest in that subject.
So stay tuned, plenty more to come, and as always I welcome the input.
Happy Australia Day to all Aussies! (26th January)
BTW - hope you can see the point NOW, Nick?
Edited - added BTW
Edited by wizardfromoz, 25 January 2016 - 06:56 PM.