Difference between revisions of "Ramdisk"

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(Marked out of date: mentions /etc/rc.local and Arch Linux does not use initscripts anymore.)
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[[Category:File systems]]
#REDIRECT [[tmpfs]]
{{Out of date|Mentions /etc/rc.local and Arch Linux does not use initscripts anymore.}}
A ramdisk is a portion of RAM utilised as a disk. Many distributions use /dev/ram for this, however Arch does not have a /dev/ram so we must use [[Fstab | /etc/fstab]] to create ramdisks. The most important thing to remember about a ramdisk is that it is stored in RAM and thus volatile. Anything stored on a ramdisk will be lost if the computer completely seizes up, or loses power. Therefore, it is necessary to save the contents of your ramdisk to the harddrive if you want to save them.
==Why use one?==
As a ramdisk is stored in RAM, it is much faster than a conventional filesystem. So, if you need to manipulate files at high speed, a ramdisk could be the best solution. Popular choices include /tmp, [[Firefox Ramdisk|Firefox profile]], although I'm sure you could think of many others.
==How to create a ramdisk==
To create a ramdisk, you treat it like any other filesystem, using any arbitrary word for the device file (here "none"):
mount -t ramfs none /path/to/location
For a more permanent solution, you may first pick and create a location for it to reside on, and then add it to your /etc/fstab file as follows:
none    /path/to/location    ramfs  defaults  0    0
If you do not have a lot of spare ram, it is recommended to use 'tmpfs' instead of 'ramfs', as tmpfs uses Swap when the available RAM starts to run out, whereas ramfs does not. Of course, dipping into swap loses the performance benefits of RAM, so it's a little pointless unless you have a lot of spare RAM.
==Example usage==
The files that have been edited are /etc/fstab, /etc/rc.local, and /etc/rc.local.shutdown to store /tmp, /var/cache/pacman, and /var/lib/pacman in RAM, and sync them to disk before shutting down. Portions of the files not relevant to the topic at hand have been removed to save space
none        /tmp        ramfs  defaults              0 0
none        /mnt/ramdisk ramfs  defaults              0 0
chmod 777 /tmp
touch /etc/ramdisk.sh
/bin/cat - >> /etc/ramdisk.sh << EOT
cd /var/ && /bin/tar cf abs.tar abs/
cd /var/cache/ && /bin/tar cf pacman.tar pacman/
cd /var/lib/ && /bin/tar cf pacman.tar pacman/
/bin/mkdir /mnt/ramdisk/var/
/bin/mkdir /mnt/ramdisk/var/cache/
/bin/mkdir /mnt/ramdisk/var/lib/
/bin/mv /var/abs /mnt/ramdisk/var && /bin/ln -s /mnt/ramdisk/var/abs /var/abs
/bin/mv /var/cache/pacman /mnt/ramdisk/var/cache &&  /bin/ln -s /mnt/ramdisk/var/lib/pacman /var/lib/pacman
/bin/mv /var/lib/pacman /mnt/ramdisk/var/lib && /bin/ln -s /mnt/ramdisk/var/cache/pacman /var/cache/pacman
/bin/ln -s /tmp /mnt/ramdisk/tmp
/bin/chmod 777 /mnt/ramdisk/tmp
/etc/ramdisk.sh &
echo "Saving contents of ramdisk to harddrive"
rm /var/abs
rm /var/cache/pacman
rm /var/lib/pacman
mv /mnt/ramdisk/var/abs /var
mv /mnt/ramdisk/var/cache/pacman /var/cache
mv /mnt/ramdisk/var/lib/pacman /var/lib
==Useful links==
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=50893 How to mount Ramdisk]
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=326269 Ramdrive setup]
* [http://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/filesystems/tmpfs.txt Official tmpfs documentation]
* [http://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/filesystems/ramfs-rootfs-initramfs.txt Official ramfs documentation]

Latest revision as of 18:54, 11 April 2015

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