Linux OS which load entirely into RAM

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trawglodyte

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I posted a thread awhile back asking the community about what Linux OS's can load entirely into RAM. For some reason this was very controversial. https://linux.org/threads/what-linux-distros-load-entirely-into-ram.48643/page-2#post-219325

To be clear, I guess I have to say it... I'm not telling anyone to do this. If you aren't interested in it, and don't know anything about it, you probably don't have to have a strong opinion about it. You can just go learn about something that interests you.

If you are interested, I have some info to report. MX Linux and AntiX have some really great tools with many options for a frugal install and you can have it load entirely into RAM. Yes, you can also save changes to disk and there are options for how/when you do. I chose to have entire OS (except my Documents, Downloads, Music, and Videos files which I keep on a seperate partition) load into RAM from a frugal install. I only save to disk when I choose to, and being able to choose NOT to save changes to disk is positive for me. It not only works fine, it actually works great, some apps launch noticeably quicker. I can also do a full system backup in seconds just by copying my (currently 5.9G) frugal install directory.

There is some risk, and it may not be for someone who uses a lot of virtual machines or multi-track audio. But I can launch several browsers, video editor, image editor, record track in Audacity, run OBS-Studio simultaneously and still use less than 16G of RAM with my installation.

There is a learning curve. If you've never done a frugal install you're going to be scratching your head, reading, probably screwing stuff up and starting over. The benefit to you may be small vs the commitment to doing it. There's certainly nothing wrong with a regular file directory install. I guess I have to repeat it over and over. I never said there was.

Another downside to my frugal install is it doesn't have a grub. I boot it by making a menuentry for the grub of another Linux OS I have installed. There are various options for booting a frugal install, this is the solution I chose. I'm telling you this so you know that you probably aren't just going to install, reboot, and get a grub like a regular file directory install.

I still think there may be regular file directory installs which can be made to load entirely into RAM, and have some options for how/when they write to disk, but I don't know of them or how to do it.

video showing MX frugal which loads into RAM - https://odysee.com/@trawg:3/2404192319:1
 


If you are interested, I have some info to report. MX Linux and AntiX have some really great tools with many options for a frugal install and you can have it load entirely into RAM.
I would assume this can be done with any Linux distribution, like I mentioned in the other topic. I'm assuming it's just because you use MX Linux yourself you are mentioning that distribution?

To be clear, I guess I have to say it... I'm not telling anyone to do this. If you aren't interested in it, and don't know anything about it, you probably don't have to have a strong opinion about it. You can just go learn about something that interests you.
Maybe describe the use case for this and what's the advantages of this, because I don't see the advantage of this in the day and age of nvme ssd's and fast ram because generally many parts of an os are loaded into ram when being used. I think in your other topic people didn't quite get your intent for the reason behind why you would want to do this, maybe make that more clear in this topic or highlight it more that way it might catch more interest. That's why I am asking about use case here.

Also if you want to get people's interest about trying this themselves, it will probably be better to write a short guide about it because not many people are going to watch a 50 minute video about any topic.
 
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or....this published in 2016

or this from ItsFoss...somewhat more recently......which shows how to make a persistent Ubuntu drive on windows

 
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or....this published in 2016
OP wasn't asking how to do it, just sharing of how they did it in a video.

f you are interested, I have some info to report. MX Linux and AntiX have some really great tools with many options for a frugal install and you can have it load entirely into RAM. Yes, you can also save changes to disk and there are options for how/when you do. I chose to have entire OS (except my Documents, Downloads, Music, and Videos files which I keep on a seperate partition) load into RAM from a frugal install. I only save to disk when I choose to, and being able to choose NOT to save changes to disk is positive for me. It not only works fine, it actually works great, some apps launch noticeably quicker. I can also do a full system backup in seconds just by copying my (currently 5.9G) frugal install directory.
video showing MX frugal which loads into RAM - https://odysee.com/@trawg:3/2404192319:1
 
I was showing that he is basically reinventing the wheel. It has been done many times before this.

Perhaps it would fit in the tutorial area
 
I was showing that he is basically reinventing the wheel. It has been done many times before this.
I get that but from my understanding OP wasn't reinventing the wheel but using Frugal MX installation for it.
I was getting the impression they were taking a different approach than your normal live usb setup with persistent storage, but @trawglodyte can correct me if I am wrong or if any of us are misunderstanding the intent behind the OP.
 
Frugal installs to run in RAM are different from live sessions with usb persistence. Writing to and reading from usbs is quite noticeably slower than a frugal install run from a hdd, ssd or nvme. These two different methods of running linux shouldn't be conflated.
 
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I would assume this can be done with any Linux distribution
I wouldn't assume that. That's why I posted a thread asking. You will notice I said, "MX Linux and AntiX have some really great tools" for it. Specifically in the Advanced Options of their installer. I mentioned Puppy Linux, but there's usually do not load entirely into RAM. If you know of some other OS's which do load entirely into RAM, then tell us what they are.
 
Maybe describe the use case for this and what's the advantages of this,
Isn't that what I did in my post and with my video? Did you read what I wrote before replying?

I guess I have to say that on my machine, I have a fairly speedy nvme @ 3,000mb/s, but my RAM is something like 25,600mb/s. It is noticeably quicker for some things such as launching apps. I also like being able to save to disk when I want, or choosing NOT to save to disk. When your OS loads entirely into RAM, it is not interacting with the frugal files on your hard drive unless you choose to save. Then the changes in RAM are written to disk. I can also do a full backup of my entire OS in a couple seconds with a cp command.

But my post is really just for anyone interested in it. I'm not trying to generate clicks and views or garner 10,000 people to watch my video. I don't understand why you feel the need to weigh in at all? I can't just post a Linux question on a Linux forum and expect that maybe someone who is interested and knows something about it to reply? This requires a bunch of people with no interest in it and don't even know what I'm talking about to weigh in? Why?

Some guy did a quick search and found some stuff about usb sticks with persistence? Do they even load 100% into RAM? It's not the same as a frugal install. Does that guy think I need help googling? What is the point of his reply? You people are weird to me.

I really don't understand what you are attempting to accomplish with your replies or what you think a forum is for.
 
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Did you read what I wrote before replying?
Yes I did but the use case isn't quite clear to me yet, the only thing that I understand from it that it's not for everyone. So it's just for fun and learning then? Also I'm trying to show interest in your topic here, if I wasn't I wouldn't even have taken the time to respond.
Isn't that what I did in my post and with my video?
Yeah but like I said before.
it will probably be better to write a short guide about it because not many people are going to watch a 50 minute video about any topic.
Because most people's attention span is short when it comes to Youtube videos and most people are going to get bored after a video longer than 10-15 minutes.
 
If you know of some other OS's which do load entirely into RAM, then tell us what they are.

The advantage I'm familiar with is speed. That advantage is however marginal on modern nvme hardware.

Without doing any stats on the issue, regularly running rescue installs like systemrescue in RAM on machnes here, compared to the nvme boxes indicates the marginal nature of the speed advantage of running a distro in RAM with fast hardware. For older hardware, I can't say but imagine a more definite speed advantage for the distro run in RAM.

That doesn't address other reasons for using frugal installs.
 
Because most people's attention span is short when it comes to Youtube videos and most people are going to get bored after a video longer than 10-15 minutes.
So don't watch it then. A forum post is not demanding anybody to do anything, is it?
 
Back from your months holiday I see.
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Back from your months holiday I see. View attachment 19473
Same as before. I have no idea how your reply is of any value to anybody or what you think a forum is for. If someone makes a post about Thunderbird app, and I don't use Thunderbird or have anything meaningful to add about Thunderbird, I just would not feel compelled to reply. What is the point?

I just don't understand what you are doing? The post is about operating systems which load into RAM. Do you have anything to add to the discussion or not?

In my way of thinking someone may find this thread because they have an interest in this, what is your reply doing to help that person? nothing.
 
So don't watch it then. A forum post is not demanding anybody to do anything, is it?
You are not understanding me correctly. I am interested in your topic but I don't have the attention span to watch a 50 minute video of anything on Youtube and that goes for most people. I was only suggesting that you make shortened guide so that more people who might be interested in your topic would be willing to read through it or sit through and contribute to the topic. You don't have to if you don't care about more people being interested in your topic and only care about people who are interested enough with a long enough attention span. It was only a suggestion if you wanted to catch more people's interest. I do appreciate your video, thanks for making it and sharing it!
 
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what you think a forum is for.
A forum, as well as being a discussion point, is also used for asking questions.
Do you have one?
Back from your months holiday I see.
That is an attempt at some humour....This is an extremely friendly, laid back forum.

Loading a 53 minute video for members to sit through...is a leap of faith.....and one that is not going to get a great response....

Especially seeing you have chosen to air the 'beef' you had with 'some guy' at Linux.org

I did not bother listening further. The fact that you have aired that publicly, is more than enough for me. It shows a certain vindictiveness on your part

Your months holiday was not sufficient.
 
A forum, as well as being a discussion point, is also used for asking questions.
Do you have one?
Do any of you READ?? I would think if you don't like reading maybe spending large amounts of time on a forum is not the best use of your time? The question is, and has always been, what Linux OS's load entirely into RAM? The ironic thing is that a certain member's first reply linked a YouTube video which suggested MX Linux. It's clear that member did not even watch the video he posted! You all have somehow appointed yourself the police of what is allowed to be posted or not, but the most worthless thing on this forum is your replies. Maybe people who have done loads of frugal installs, make a video with too much information for you, and so forth... don't need you to go Google quick and post the results of your search?

Screenshot from 2024-04-20 05-58-51.png
 
This guy posted this video which told me MX Linux has options for loading into RAM. In addition to actually watching that video, actually READING all the replies, and studying this intently, as well as DOING many installs and experiments. I come back and share what I've learned, HOPING people with zero interest can just not screw up the thread for those who do have interest, and guy is still bent out of shape about something? I guess it's because I told him nicely his post about his liveUSB wasn't helpful and he went on to prove me right by continuing to post more completely unhelpful replies.

Screenshot from 2024-04-20 06-13-15.png
 
Some observations on the video.

When the OS is loaded into RAM, you mention that it's "not saving anything from my hard drive and not loading anything from my hard drive" at that time, rather, all the configurations are loaded into the "linuxfs".

Does that mean that all the configuration files for the apps which are normally on the hard drive in various dot files and dot directories in the /home/<user> directory, have to be set into the linuxfs file? Or are all the configurations made in the /etc configuration files?

Does the way it's set up make the system a single-user system?
Has it lost the UNIX multi-user capability?

The frugal system is booted from the grub of another linux OS, which you mention as a down side. It may be possible to boot using the syslinux/isolinux bootloader software and then using the BIOS/UEFI boot menu which would make it truly independent of the other installations on the machine. As described, it has been integrated with a dependency on another distro's grub, but it doesn't need to be that way if it uses any independent bootloader.

Unfortunately the video is not a step-by-step set of instructions of what was done to create the frugal installation, rather it's an overarching personal free range commentary about the frugal system, which later runs into more general commentary. For the time spent to watch it, I would have preferred to get the details of what you actually did and learnt, but YMMV.
 
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