Alternate method of running swapon?

Jeffrey Walton noloader at
Wed Jan 8 13:09:23 EST 2020

Hi Everyone,

I work with an open source project. We have a VM but it is low-end.
The machine suffers OOM kills. We don't have access to /etc/fstab.
Everything is an upsell with the VPS provider.

I'm trying to setup a swapfile during startup using Systemd but:

    # swapon /swapfile
    swapon: /swapfile: swapon failed: Operation not permitted

This may be useful:

# command -v swapon
# file /sbin/swapo
swapoff  swapon
# file /sbin/swapon
/sbin/swapon: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV),
dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.32,
BuildID[sha1]=a4891bc4dcfc533c61d76aa3e69870ab35d90c89, stripped

My question is, is there a way to sidestep the restriction? Is it
possible to ask the kernel to use the swapfile without using the

Thanks in advance.

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