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 can be 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 load from a removable media such as a Live CD or a Live USB stick. A "frugal" install can also often be completed, allowing boot up from a hard disk drive instead.

This feature is implemented in live-initramfs and allows the user to run a live distro that does not run from ram by default by adding toram to the kernel boot parameters.[1]

Additionally some distributions can be configured to run from RAM, such as Ubuntu using the toram option included in the Casper scripts.[2]

Table[edit]

Linux distributions that run from RAM
Distribution Based on RAM required installation drive/required size
Alpine Linux[3][4] Independent base system uses less than 64 MB CD - USB flash drive - HDD
Arudius[5] Slackware & Slax 210 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
AUSTRUMI[6] Slackware less than 100 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
boot2docker[7] Tiny Core Linux 24 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - Web service
Damn Small Linux[8] Knoppix 128 MB CD - USB flash drive - HDD
debirf[9] Debian 256 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Grml[10] Debian 256 MB (required), 512 MB (or more, recommended) CD - USB flash drive - HDD
Kanotix[11] Debian & Knoppix 1024 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Knoppix[12] Debian 1024 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Lighthouse Linux[13] Puppy 256 MB (required), 512 MB (recommended), 768 MB (optional)[14] CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) [15] Thinstation 178 MB (basic), 382 MB (deluxe) CD - USB flash drive
Macpup[16] Puppy 164 MB CD - USB flash drive
Minimal Linux Live[17] Independent 64 MB CD - USB flash drive
MCNLive[18] Mandriva 512 MB CD - USB flash drive
Mustang Linux[19] Slackware 168 MB[20] CD - DVD
Nanolinux[21] Tiny Core Linux 64 MB[22] CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Parted Magic[23] Independent 175 MB - 312 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
PCLinuxOS[24] Mandriva 1024 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Plop Linux[25] Independent 64 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Porteus[26] Slackware 512 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Puppy Linux[27] Independent 64 MB (required), 256 MB (recommended)[28] CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
RIPLinuX[29] Slackware 512 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive
Slax[30] Slackware 512 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
SliTaz[31] Independent 192 MB (48 MB for base) CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD[32] - Floppy disk[33]
SystemRescueCD[34] Gentoo Linux 400 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD
Tin Hat Linux[35] Hardened Gentoo 4096 MB
Tiny SliTaz[36] SliTaz 4 MB CD - DVD - USB flash drive - HDD - Floppy disk
Tiny Core Linux[37] Independent 46 MB[37] HDD - CD
Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK)[38] Mandriva 256 MB - 512 MB (recommended) [39] CD - USB flash drive

See also[edit]

  • tmpfs; by mounting a tmpfs and running files that are placed on this, files and programs can be run from RAM, even on Linux distros that do not run completely in RAM
  • Clustered file system; network file systems are another way to avoid needing to use a (slow) harddisk (at least faster if using a E-IDE harddisk)
  • 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
  • List of tools to create Live USB systems
  • SYSLINUX, a suite of lightweight IBM PC MBR bootloaders for starting up computers with the Linux kernel.
  • Windows PE, a non-Linux operating system that can also be run from RAM.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Re: Debian live entirely in RAM?". 
  2. ^ Ubuntu Wiki (13 November 2014). "Booting Ubuntu To RAM". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  3. ^ LinuxBSDos: Alpine Linux 2 review
  4. ^ Alpine Linux Overview
  5. ^ Freshmeat - Arudius (Last update: 2006)
  6. ^ - ABOUT AUSTRUMI Linux (Last update: 2012)
  7. ^ https://github.com/boot2docker/boot2docker
  8. ^ DSL home page
  9. ^ debirf: DEBian on Initial Ram Filesystem
  10. ^ grml.org
  11. ^ Which startparameter can i use with the LIVE-CD?
  12. ^ Knoppix Cheatcodes
  13. ^ Lighthouse development (January 2011). "Lighthouse Pup". Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Lighthouse development (2011). "Lighthouse Pup Getting Started - System Requirements". Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  15. ^ LPS Main Page
  16. ^ MacPup 520
  17. ^ Minimal Linux Live
  18. ^ Distribution Release: MCNLive "Delft"
  19. ^ Lesser known "mini" Linux runs from RAM
  20. ^ Homepage for Mustang Linux
  21. ^ Softpedia
  22. ^ Nanolinux
  23. ^ Parted Magic - About[dead link]
  24. ^ Installing PCLinuxOS Without a CD/DVD
  25. ^ plop.at Plop Linux
  26. ^ Porteus forum: Cheatcodes in porteus
  27. ^ DistroWatch.com: Puppy Linux
  28. ^ "PuppyLinux: MinimumSystemRequirements". Puppy Linux Wiki. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  29. ^ RIPLinuX home site
  30. ^ Documentation - Slax Linux
  31. ^ SliTaz
  32. ^ SliTaz installation
  33. ^ SliTaz boot floppies
  34. ^ System Rescue CD
  35. ^ Tin Hat
  36. ^ Tiny SliTaz
  37. ^ a b Shingledecker, Robert. "Frequently Asked Questions". Tiny Core Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Retrieved 28 September 2016. An absolute minimum of RAM is 46mb. TC won't boot with anything less. ... Microcore runs with 28mb of ram. 
  38. ^ "Trinity Rescue Kit is completely RAM-based". 
  39. ^ "Screenshots from TRK - The startup splash". 

External links[edit]