Create A RAM Disk For Mint, Ubuntu, and Debian

How to create a RamDisk

What is a RAM disk?

A RAM disk is a virtual disk drive created using a portion of a computer’s random-access memory (RAM). It emulates a traditional hard drive, allowing users to both store and access data on it similar to a hard drive or a solid-state (SSD) drive.

What are the benefits of a Ram Disk?

There are several reasons why someone might want to create a RAM disk:

  1. Speed: RAM disks are much faster than traditional hard drives or even solid-state drives (SSDs), as they have much faster read and write speeds. This can be particularly useful for applications that require a lot of data access, such as video editing or database management.
  2. Temporary storage: RAM disks are volatile, meaning that their contents are lost when the computer is shut down or restarted. This makes them ideal for temporary storage of data that doesn’t need to be saved permanently, such as cache files or temporary work files.
  3. Security: Because RAM disks are volatile, they can be used to securely store sensitive data that you don’t want to leave on your hard drive or SSD. Once you shut down your computer, the data is gone, making it nearly impossible for someone to access it.
  4. Reduced wear on storage devices: If you frequently use applications that read and write a lot of data, such as video editing or gaming, you may want to create a RAM disk to reduce wear and tear on your hard drive or SSD. By using a RAM disk as temporary storage or a cache file, you can reduce the number of read and write operations on your hard drive or SSD, which can help prolong its lifespan.
  5. Testing: RAM disks can be useful for testing software or operating systems, as they allow you to create a virtual drive that behaves like a physical drive. This can be particularly useful for testing new software installations, as it allows you to quickly and easily roll back changes if something goes wrong.

Creating the RAM disk

Note: I have successfuly used the following process on Mint 21.1. As Mint and Ubuntu are developed from Debian, the following instructions “should” work on any of the three distributions with similar versions.

Step 1. Open the Terminal program. Let’s make sure we are starting from the same place, so enter the brief string below, and hit the Enter key. You are now located in the Root level of your operating system.

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Step 2. We are now going to make a folder in the “tmp” directory. The folder will be named “ramdisk”. Enter the string below at the command prompt. “Sudo” grants you some admin level of privileges, as a result, your username and password will be requested. After you enter this information, hit the Enter key.

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Step 3. Now, let’s limit access to “ramdisk” to you and your group (if any). Enter the string below at the command prompt, and again, hit the Enter key.

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Step 4. By entering the string below, you will use a temporary file system to both mount and create a 1 Gigabyte RAM disk named MintRam at mount point /tmp/ramdisk. Depending upon how you have your desktop configured, you should see an icon for your ramdisk now with your other drives. Also, check in your file manager program, typically in “other locations”, you should see your RAM disk listed there.

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Step 5. OK, assuming now you have everything set up correctly and you have found your ramdisk, the last thing we want to do is to set the ramdisk up to load automatically at “startup”. To do this, at the command prompt, type: sudo nano /etc/fstab. The nano text editor window will pop up showing the contents of the fstab file. Arrow down to end of the of configuration and type in (with the same spacing) the line starting with “MintRam”. When you have finished typing, hit Control o, then Enter, then Control x. Now restart your computer and the ramdisk should load as well.

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By prometheus

Husband. Father. Grandfather. World class Geek.

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