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I have two questions, which is both related to a swap partition or file.

  1. Is it possible to install either Ubuntu or CentOS without a swap configured, without tinkering?

  2. Live CDs like Ubuntu, is there any swap involved? I was thinking that there should be a file-based one being created?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Sure. Just don't create a swap partition during the part of the installation when you specify the layout of the hard drive. This is a bit on the "tinkering" side, as you'll be setting up a custom disk layout instead of the default one. This may or may not be advisable, depending on what you're doing with the machine, and how much RAM you have available.

  2. I haven't booted a LiveCD in a while, but typically they will not use swap, as they cannot guarantee you have a disk drive to write to on the hardware you're booting on. There is a writeable filesystem, but that's in RAM.

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You can install Linux without swap, but it is not recommended as this will cause the machine to crash when no more memory is available.

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