List of Linux distributions that run from RAM

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Puppy Linux 5.10 desktop running in RAM

This is a list of Linux distributions that run entirely from the computer's RAM. That ability allows them to be very fast, since reading and writing data from/to RAM is much faster than on a hard disk drive. Many of these operating systems will run from a Live CD or another removable media, but a "frugal" install can be made to have them boot up from a hard disk drive.

Linux distributions that run from RAM
Distribution Based on RAM required installation drive/required size
Alpine Linux[1][2] Independent base system uses less than 64 MB CD - USB flash drive - HDD
Arudius[3] Slackware & Slax 210 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
AUSTRUMI[4] Slackware less than 100 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Damn Small Linux[5] Knoppix 128 MB CD - USB flash drive - HDD
debirf[6] Debian 256 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Grml[7] Debian 256 MB (required), 512 MB (or more, recommended) CD - USB flash drive - HDD
Kanotix[8] Debian & Knoppix 1024 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Knoppix[9] Debian 1024 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Lighthouse Linux[10] Puppy 256 MB (required), 512 MB (recommended), 768 MB (optional)[11] CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) [12] Independent 178 MB (basic), 382 MB (deluxe) CD - USB flash drive
Macpup[13] Puppy 164 MB CD - USB flash drive
MCNLive[14] Mandriva CD - USB flash drive
Musix[citation needed] Debian CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Mustang Linux[15] Slackware 168 MB[16] CD - DVD
Nanolinux[17] Tiny Core Linux 64 MB[18] CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Parted Magic[19] Independent 175 MB - 312 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
PCLinuxOS[20] Mandriva 1024 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Plop Linux[21] Independent 64 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Porteus[22] Slackware 512 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Puppy Linux[23] Independent 64 MB (required), 256 MB (recommended)[24] CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
RIPLinuX[25] Slackware 512 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Slax[26] Slackware 512 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
SliTaz[27] Independent 192 MB (48 MB for base) CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD[28] - Floppy disk[29]
SystemRescueCD[30] Gentoo Linux 400 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Tin Hat Linux[31] Hardened Gentoo 4096 MB
Tiny SliTaz[32] SliTaz 8 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD - Floppy disk
Tiny Core Linux[33] Independent 10 MB[33] HDD - CD
Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK)[34] Mandriva 256 MB - 512 MB (recommended) [35] CD - USB flash drive

See also[edit]

  • initrd ("initial ramdisk"), a scheme for loading a temporary root file system into memory in the boot process of the Linux kernel.
  • Lightweight Linux distribution
  • Windows PE, a non-Linux operating system that can also be run from RAM.

References[edit]

External links[edit]