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- What is Virtual Memory on the Mac? - ChrisWrites.com
- How To Disable Virtual Memory In OS X
- Get to know Mac OS X's built-in security features | ITworld
This option is available in the Security system preferences, but in Lion this has changed so that secure virtual memory is on at all times. While this is logically preferable because of its enhanced security, it may seem a bit redundant to some, given Lion's support for whole-disk encryption with FileVault 2.
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Unlike the original FileVault, which only encrypted the user's home directory, FileVault 2 encrypts the entire disk without the operating system being aware of it. As a result, with FileVault 2 enabled all data on the drive including OS data like virtual memory will be encrypted, which seems as if it would negate the need to enable virtual memory encryption and may have people wondering whether they should turn off virtual memory encryption for any additional performance benefit that may offer.
Recently this topic came up after a recent posting at Mac OS X Hints outlining how to manually disable virtual memory encryption in Lion by running the following command in the Terminal:. While it may seem logical to disable virtual memory encryption and rely solely on FileVault to encrypt and protect data, unless there is a specific reason to disable encrypted virtual memory, then even with FileVault 2 enabled it is likely best to keep virtual memory encryption active.
The sole reason is that if someone is able to log on to your computer or access it when the hard drive has been unlocked, then the unencrypted virtual memory can be accessed and scanned for potentially private data, simply by running a command similar to the following in the Terminal:. In this command, replacing SWAPFILE with the name of the system's virtual memory file which will be something like "swapfile0" or "swapfile1" will read through it and dump text strings found in the data to a text file called "info.
This text file can then be quickly read for any relevant personal data.
If FileVault 2 is enabled but you are logged in, then the virtual memory files can be read like this; however, if the virtual memory files are encrypted then even if FileVault 2 is unlocked the virtual memory files cannot be read directly like this. Overall, even with FileVault 2, the use of additional encryption in areas like disk images, keychains, and virtual memory may still have potential security benefits, so unless there is a specific need to disable them then we recommend keeping them enabled.
What that option means and how work?
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Helpful answers Drop Down menu. Feb 7, AM in response to gio22 In response to gio22 In theory, anything that you type including passwords and other personal information is temporarily saved into memory even though you don't administer any kind of save function. If you turn on Secure Virtual Memory these swap files are encrypted thus adds another level of security.
What is Virtual Memory on the Mac? - ChrisWrites.com
Personally, I don't feel the need for this added security but in some situations, this might be advised. View answer in context. The process will be more frequent if you have less RAM or you open a lot of apps at the same time. Loading page content. Reply Helpful Thread reply - more options Link to this Post.
Its use would be effected by several variable and thus hard to test or benchmark. In my opinion, it's an option to consider for secure networks and not really necessary for individual casual computing.
How To Disable Virtual Memory In OS X
User profile for user: cg0def cg0def. Apr 29, PM in response to Gamaliel Amaudruz In response to Gamaliel Amaudruz Actually your computer is using virtual memory regardless of how much ram you have in it. A lot of application simply cannot work properly without virtual memory.
First, you may be concerned about disk space usage. You may want to get rid of these files to free up some space. Try closing demanding programs—or even rebooting—and the swapfile files should shrink and stop using space. This is true in theory, but in practice, this concern is generally overblown, and left over from the days when SSDs had far less longevity.
Get to know Mac OS X's built-in security features | ITworld
Modern SSDs should last a good long time, even with features like this enabled. Leave virtual memory be and allow your Mac to work as it was designed to. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Windows Mac iPhone Android. Smarthome Office Security Linux.