I am running mint 8 on a first gen netbook. I have already installed the max 2GB ram. Mint uses 200MB to 500MB on average use on my machine. I know that /dev/shm is a dynamic 'ram drive'. What can I symlink to improve performance? I am asking about this only and not about other performance improvements. Thank you very much.

asked 14 Apr '10, 00:47

george's gravatar image

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edited 14 Apr '10, 01:33

Web31337's gravatar image


If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you have excess RAM and are considering using some of that space to improve performance. I'm not terribly sure that the benefits that you gain would be worth the trouble. Basically, what you are trying to do is use that fact that your RAM is faster to read/write and therefore any directory/file that you write to frequently would gain some small performance gain.

However, the down side is that any changes made there will not be saved once it is unmounted. That means that you will have to copy any files that you want to use. Perhaps you could symlink /tmp there, but I'm not sure how that would work in practice.

You might consider instead creating a separate ramfs and configuring frequently used programs to store their temporary data there.


answered 23 Apr '10, 06:25

kainosnous's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

linked /tmp to /dev/shm, yeeeaaa not a good idea

(25 Apr '10, 18:20) george

I do use ramdisk on high-loaded webserver to store some static data which server refers to tens times per second, in this way it is a speed improvement. What are you trying to speed-up? Basically you will need to determine which files your application uses more often and put them into ramdisk. /dev/shm actually is not meant to be used by user, better way is to allocate separate ramfs disk and use it for that purposes.


answered 14 Apr '10, 00:59

Web31337's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

edited 14 Apr '10, 01:08

It was more of a proof of concept than anything. I stumbled on /dev/shm a little while ago and symlinked my chromium cache to it. Amazingly enough I am now able to watch flash video at 480p with the intel 945 chipset with no stutters. It might just be placebo. That brought the idea into mind of using it elsewhere. I understand that I am not suppose to use /dev/shm and a famfs disk would be better, but is there any way to make that dynamic sizing?

(14 Apr '10, 01:07) george

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tmpfs for more info. btw did you try the same trick with removable devices(USB drives, memory sticks)? Or you don't have one faster than your HDD?

(14 Apr '10, 01:28) Web31337

Is your netbook swapping to disk at all? Your looking to improve performance based on the fact that Mint uses 200-500MB resident memory, but if your machine is not swapping to disk, there is no reason to fine tune memory allocation.

You can cat /proc/swaps and see if any swapping is happening during peak usage. You could also fine tune your swappiness value based on whether or not your currently swapping.


answered 14 Apr '10, 16:00

r0000t's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

in example above, george used chromium with cache in RAM instead of having it on HDD. In common case it will never happen, swapping or free RAM has nothing to do with it, it's a hack. Using tmpfs only needed in such cases when you know which files are used most and need to gain better performance. I really enjoy that feature on high-loaded servers.

(14 Apr '10, 16:21) Web31337

http://tombuntu.com/index.php/2008/09/04/four-tweaks-for-using-linux-with-solid-state-drives/ How to Increase the Lifespan and Performance of Your Solid State Drive With Linux http://www.brighthub.com/computing/linux/articles/9170.aspx

There are a few things you can tweak including putting Firefox's cache in tmpfs.


answered 21 Jul '10, 10:36

craigevil's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

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Asked: 14 Apr '10, 00:47

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Last updated: 21 Jul '10, 10:36

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