Ivor O’Connor

December 8, 2008

Ram Disks

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 1:47 am

In past years, running other operating systems, I used ram disks extensively. Computers were slower. Ram disks made them fast. I often had to pay for the ram disk software depending on what OS I was using. Under Ubuntu it might be nice to have a ram disk someday. However if I just read the files I will be accessing with a batch file at startup will pull them into cache essentially making a ram disk redundant. Ram disks are neat though. And I just saw an article on how to make a ram disk at:

http://onlyubuntu.blogspot.com/2008/11/firefox-cache-in-ramdisk-tmpfs.html

and

http://www.howtoforge.com/storing-files-directories-in-memory-with-tmpfs

so I’ll type up these notes so I don’t lose the info. I have not tried this so it might not work but it does look good. And a ram disk for firefox is perhaps ideal…

  1. Make a place to mount the ram disk.  In the terminal type:
    sudo mkdir /media/ramdisk
    Where /media/ramdisk is where you will mount the ramdisk.
  2. Mount the ramdisk
    sudo mount -t tmpfs -o size=64M,nr_inodes=10k,mode=0777 tmpfs /media/ramdisk
    We set the permisions to 777 which allows anybody and everybody to access it. Set these as you wish
  3. In firefox set the cache location to you new ramdisk. Basically type
  4. about:config
    in the url address bar. Search for
    browser.cache.disk.parent_directory
    or add a new string by right clicking and choosing new. Then set the location to your ramdisk. In my case I set it to
    /media/ramdisk/
    If you wish to automount the ramdisk you need to edit your FSTAB file
    sudo gvim /etc/fstab
    Add the line
    tmpfs /media/ramdisk tmpfs size=64M,nr_inodes=10k,mode=777 0 0
  5. Everything should be all set. You can check the ramdisk to see if a folder ‘Cache’ is created when you load firefox. Don’t forget to close firefox or restart firefox before you set this up.

If I had 16GBs or more of ram I’d like to figure out a way to run everything out of ram. To basically have grub carve up the ram into a file system and then load the whole OS there. Then once up I’d make a little batch file to sync the ram directories with the ones on my thumb drive. Someday…

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