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Speed Up Android Devices Using Swap [Part 2]

Speed Up Android Devices Using Swap
Speed Up Android Devices Using Swap

Within the Half One among this text collection, we mentioned how swap could be utilized on an Android system to extend the kernel’s digital reminiscence and supply additional responsiveness. On Linux, swap might be enabled on a particular swap file, on a devoted partition, or on an entire disk. Within the earlier article, a step-by-step information was offered for the swap file technique. Immediately, we’ll present directions for enabling swap on a specialised SD card partition. Furthermore, we’ll introduce the swappiness kernel parameter and recommend a way of adjusting it on Android.


  • Root Help
  • parted command line software
  • A high-quality Micro SD card (class 10 or higher advisable)

1. Speed Up Android Devices: Swap Partition Technique


  • Swapping on a flash storage system (MMC, SD card) can degrade the storage’s life. That doesn’t imply that your SD card will fail after some days of use, however its lifetime can be lowered. We advocate that you simply use an exterior high-quality SD card for swapping. Even when it fails, an SD card could be simply changed.  This information will clarify tips on how to re-partition the exterior SD card for swapping.
  • All the time maintain your knowledge backed-up when utilizing swap on an SD card. Additionally, backup all of your exterior SD card knowledge earlier than following this information, because the process described under will erase all knowledge on it.

Ensure you have the parted binary obtainable in your gadget:

Parted is a strong command line utility that may manipulate a number of kinds of partitions. On this tutorial, we’ll use parted to create the partition format of the SD card. Often, it doesn’t come pre-installed on Android ROMs.

Enter a Terminal App/adb shell and provides the next command:

which parted

If you don’t get any output, you don’t have the parted binary in your system. In case you have an ARM system, you will get parted from the Downloads part on the finish of this text.

Should learn: What are Android Safety Patches and Ought to We Care About Them?

Discover the block system that represents your SD card:

Linux kernel creates separate information (nodes) beneath the /dev/block listing for every storage gadget out there on the system. Flash storage units are most occasions represented by a node with a reputation beginning with mmc (for instance mmcblk0). Moreover, every partition of a storage system is assigned a separate node, whose identify is derived from the storage system identify plus the partition quantity (for instance, mmcblk1p1 : this represents the first partition of the first block gadget). Understand that storage system numbers on Linux begin from zero. To know issues higher, open a Terminal App/adb shell and enter following instructions:

cd /dev/block

On our instance gadget, we get the next output:

The kernel sees two storage units (mmcblk0 and mmclbk1), every of them having totally different numbers of partitions. A common rule is that the storage gadget that has a excessive variety of partitions is the interior storage, whereas the gadget that has just one or three (on units with adaptable storage enabled) is the detachable SD card. Take a observe of the node representing your detachable SD card (mmcblk1 on our instance system).

Change partition format utilizing the parted device:

First, we have to unmount the exterior SD card, so we will make modifications to it safely. SD card may be unmounted by going to Storage Settings, underneath System Settings. Simply click on the eject signal subsequent to the SD card to unmount it. To unmount adopted SD playing cards, that you must click on on the cardboard, then click on the three-dot button on the top-right of the display and click on eject.

Within the Terminal App/adb shell, enter the next command to execute parted device in your SD card:

parted /dev/block/mmcblk1

Changing /dev/block/mmcblk1 together with your SD card node discovered within the earlier step.

Parted has its personal command line interface. All of the modifications are made in real-time after a command is given. We’ll give a common instance on how you can re-partition your SD card, utilizing a pre-partitioned SD card with each moveable (FAT32) and adoptable partitions. The thought is to take away the FAT32 partition and create two partitions instead, one FAT32 and one Linux-swap. This manner, we won’t mess with adoptable partition and render it unusable.

On the parted command line, do the next:

unit b

It will change the models displayed within the parted device into bytes. Then


This can show the present partition desk.
That is the output on our instance gadget:

The primary column shows the partition quantity, subsequent three columns show the beginning, cease and complete bytes of every partition respectively. The final three columns show the partition sort, the partition identify and partition flags (flags will not be displayed on the screenshot above). On our instance gadget, the fats32 partition is the partition with no 1 and identify shared. Its measurement is 9181 MB (9626976256 bytes). Take a notice of all the knowledge relating to this partition. To take away this partition, give the next command:

rm 1

This can delete the partition with number one instantly. Change the partition quantity in line with your system.

That is the time you’ll want to calculate the dimensions of your swap partition. As talked about partially one in every of this information, a superb beginning measurement for a swap on Android is half the dimensions of RAM. Our instance gadget facilitates 1 GB of RAM, so we’ll create a swap partition of 512 MB, or 536870912 bytes (512*1024*1024). Be sure to take a notice of your required swap measurement in bytes.

Now, we should always re-create the fats32 partition with a smaller measurement, so the SD card may have room for the swap partition. On our instance, the brand new measurement of this partition shall be 9626976256 – 536870912 = 9090105344 bytes. So, the FAT32 partition will begin at byte 1048576 (the identical byte it began earlier than re-partitioning the cardboard) and finish in byte 1048576 + 9090105344 = 9091153920. The swap partition should begin on the subsequent byte, 9091153921, and finish one byte earlier than the subsequent partition on the cardboard. That is byte 9628024831 (as seen on the partition format screenshot above).

Let’s create the partitions:

mkpart main 1048576 9091153920

This command will create the partition which will probably be formatted later to fats32. Keep in mind to vary the numbers in response to your gadget. First, quantity is the beginning byte and second is the cease byte of the created partition.

Then, doing the next will create one other empty partition to make use of for swap:

mkpart main 9091153921 9628024831

Once more, exchange begin and cease bytes with the values calculated in your system.


There’s a probability that parted device will show a message telling you that it can’t create the partition on the required ranges. This may occur as a consequence of a number of causes and primarily as a result of we don’t align created partitions to sectors, as a way to make this information simpler to comply with. In case you get a message like that, take a look at the beginning/cease values that this system suggests. In case you are positive with that values, write sure and hit enter. You may get a smaller swap partition in the long run, however not by a lot.

Don’t miss: Tips on how to Repair File Permissions on Android Devices- A Newbie’s Information

Subsequent, let’s show the brand new partition desk:


Take a word of the partition numbers of the fats32 and swap partitions, as we’ll want them later.

The very last thing we have to do in parted, is to call our newly created partitions. We have to identify the fats32 partition shared and (optionally) the swap partition swap:identify 1 shared
identify four swap

altering the numbers to match the partition numbers of every partition in your gadget.

Give the next command to exit parted:


Format created Partitions and Allow swap:

Subsequent factor we have to do, is to format the created partitions. To format the primary created partition to fats32, give the next command within the Terminal App/adb shell:

mkfs.exfat /dev/block/mmcblk1p1

To arrange the opposite partition for swap, give the next command:

mkswap /dev/block/mmcblk1p4

Exchange /dev/block/mmcblk1p1 and /dev/block/mmcblk1p4 with the nodes representing the fats32 and swap partitions respectively. You’ll be able to simply make out that nodes by including a p# to the top of the SD card gadget node, the place # are the partition numbers you took observe of within the earlier step.

Lastly, to allow swap, give the next command:

swapon /dev/block/mmcblk1p4

changing once more the partition node as wanted.

Swap won’t persist after a tool reboot. You might want to manually allow it at every boot utilizing the swapon command or use an init.d script to do that mechanically. A pattern init.d script is out there on the finish of the article. To study extra on the way to set up this script, please check with half one in every of this information. When you make use of the script, be sure to edit it first and alter the worth of SWAP_PATH to level to your swap partition system node.

2.The Swappiness Kernel Parameter

Swappiness is a Linux kernel parameter that controls the relative weight given to swapping out of run-time reminiscence, versus utterly eradicating reminiscence knowledge that aren’t in use. Swappiness could be set to values between zero and 100 inclusive. A low worth causes the Linux kernel to keep away from swapping, whereas a better worth causes the kernel to make use of swap area extra aggressively. The default worth on Android is 60. Setting Swappiness greater will improve the efficiency of at present operating processes at the price of inflicting a pause (lag) when returning to inactive processes. The perfect Swappiness worth for every consumer differs based mostly on their system utilization state of affairs. Experimentation will show you how to discover out one of the best worth.

To vary swappiness parameter on Android, you may give the next command (with root privileges) in a Terminal App/adb shell:

sysctl -w vm.swappiness=worth

changing the worth with a quantity between zero and 100. This alteration won’t persist after a reboot, however you will discover an init.d script to routinely change it at boot on the Downloads part under. Be sure to edit the script and alter the worth of “SWAPPINESS=” with the worth you want.


You’ll be able to take a look at what quantity of your swap file/partition is in use at any second by getting into a Terminal and giving the next command:

free -m

You’ll get an output like the next:

Additionally learn: Encrypt and Decrypt Information on Android utilizing Andrognito


  • parted_arm_zipped
    To put in parted in your system, unzip the file above and use a root file supervisor app to maneuver the parted file beneath /system/bin. You additionally want to vary the permissions of the file to make it executable.
  • swap_on_partition
    Init.d script for enabling swap partition at boot
  • set_swappiness
    Init.d script for altering kernel Swappiness at boot