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RAM is your best friend. +Firefox speed-up.

Another such brilliance, did you know Ubuntu is able to make use of your computers memory as a mountable device? Where you can use it like you can any storage media?

What use is this to me? You may ask. Like most things in our Linux environment, your imagination is the limit. For now, we will stick to the obvious and most useful uses.

Ubuntu distributions come with what we call tmpfs, which means “temporary file system“. Essentially this is a clever way of making use of the memory.

First we need to see if its available, by default, this will be in the /dev/shm folder. A quick CD /dev/shm/ should get you there. Then type ls. There will be stuff in there already, nothing to worry about, its because Ubuntu already uses this dynamically.

This is a super fast device that you will be able to store anything up-to what ever free memory you have. Dynamically means it will automatically resize the device depending on what your Ubuntu is doing. Amongst other things, uses are;

  • Speeding up file access dramatically.
  • using to cache files like CD and DVD writing.
  • Make link to and use as normal disk.
  • Making your browsing substantially more responsive.
  • Makes you feel all retro if you used Amigas. 😉
  • Be clever and run your whole system from memory.

Lets make Firefox much much quicker!

In the address bar, please put in “about:config” if it asks you a silly question, just say its OK. in the filter section that is at the top, probably already selected, type in “cache“. You will be presented with all the cache settings.

find browser.cache.disk_cache_ssl set to false

find browser.cache.offline.enable set to false

Right click a black space, select new then string. Input browser.cache.disk.enable then input “true“.

Right click black space, select new then integer enter browser.cache.memory.capacity then enter 51200.

Enjoy. Before I go, when you reboot your system, you lose all data. Very good for secure systems.

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Yeah, I knew Ubuntu could do that. In fact most stuff based on the Linux kernel can do that. You can even do it in FreeBSD (and therefore Mac, I guess); perhaps it’s possible in other unix-like OSes as well.