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post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Yeah, that's pretty much all I found when I looked up RAMdisk and Linux. There's a bunch of Windows guides on how to do it but with Linux everyone was basically, "this is a dumb idea because after the first load it's in RAM unless you open so many programs/use so much RAM that it has to be dropped from the cache". So I guess suffering a slow "cold load" is the best we can do in Linux without some major work like what lloyd found?
Basically that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

That said; what about editing fstab to mount both /tmp and your .cache directories to their own tmpfs setups on startup? I've been told that would help.
You could do, and I think some distros have /tmp as a tmpfs anyway. The drawback to that for stuff like internet cache is that you'd have to re-download all your images (etc) each reboot. So potentially you might still slow the system down.

Another option might be getting hibernation to work. It might solve a number of your "cold start" issues
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

A related question though is even though I have 5GBs of spare RAM (for tmpfs mounts) why can't I mount a folder that has executables? IE
tmpfs /usr/bin/ tmpfs defaults,nosuid 0 0 or say usr/lib/ ?
Whenever I try the exes (and programs) no longer work/exist as far as Linux is concerned. headscratch.gif
Sounds like something you've configured wrong as I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work. Though I've not tried to load ELFs from tmpfs before, but shell scripts still work.
post #22 of 57
Several dumb questions: if I've rsync'd things like the exe (from usr/bin) and the lib locations given from whereis "program" name...are the new copies used or is the system still using the old ones on the HDD? I figure since I didn't change anything really that they should still be running from the old location but I just wanted to verify that.

Next, how would I go about mounting /usr/lib/ and /usr/bin/ and possibly /bin/ on either tmpfs or ramfs?
I've seen a lot of methods but I'm not sure if I was doing things correctly and would the changes to these mounted versions be saved?

I've kind of given up on preload as even with a thread setting double it's default and a track lib size minimum of 10kB it just doesn't make that much impact on the first run of a program.
     
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post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Several dumb questions: if I've rsync'd things like the exe (from usr/bin) and the lib locations given from whereis "program" name...are the new copies used or is the system still using the old ones on the HDD? I figure since I didn't change anything really that they should still be running from the old location but I just wanted to verify that.
Next, how would I go about mounting /usr/lib/ and /usr/bin/ and possibly /bin/ on either tmpfs or ramfs?
I've seen a lot of methods but I'm not sure if I was doing things correctly and would the changes to these mounted versions be saved?
I've kind of given up on preload as even with a thread setting double it's default and a track lib size minimum of 10kB it just doesn't make that much impact on the first run of a program.

Don't do the bin directories. You're likely to break more than your time is worth. Particularly if you do /bin/

And you can't get around an initial slow down on "cold starts" with a RAM disk. Which ever method you use, you're going to have to read from the HDD and dump it into RAM. That's completely and 100% unavoidable. So if you want to speed up cold starts, then you either need to buy an SSD or do some heavy RAIDing over fast HDDs.

This is why I suggest RAMdisk for user files - because doing it that way, you're then caching those files in RAM and offloading the HDD writes into a background process.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Don't do the bin directories. You're likely to break more than your time is worth. Particularly if you do /bin/
And you can't get around an initial slow down on "cold starts" with a RAM disk. Which ever method you use, you're going to have to read from the HDD and dump it into RAM. That's completely and 100% unavoidable. So if you want to speed up cold starts, then you either need to buy an SSD or do some heavy RAIDing over fast HDDs.
This is why I suggest RAMdisk for user files - because doing it that way, you're then caching those files in RAM and offloading the HDD writes into a background process.

Alright so not straight up /bin from / but what about /usr/bin/? Or better yet what directories would you recommend? And my cold starts is not so much the OS but each program when I want to run it the first time. In windows I deal with the long OS load and shutdown because the programs load much faster and respond better so I was kind of looking to do that with Linux but I think I'll try another way.

To me that better way would be mounting whatever directories are "bottlenecks" into RAM. And I am curious about mounting libs as that seems to be the big way to get a boost.

This is what I've added to /etc/fstab so far and while it hasn't really helped the programs run much faster (at least if the time command is anything to go by) things like webpages rendering (I'm horribly bottlenecked by my internet connection) have improved noticeably.
Code:
# Move /tmp to RAM
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noexec,nosuid 0 0
# Move cache to RAM
tmpfs /home/rez/.cache tmpfs defaults,noexec,nosuid 0 0

If I were to try mounting say /usr/lib what would I do? Should I mount things with the trailing / now that I think about it? Am I over thinking things? redface.gif

PS: Sorry Jrl if it seems like thread jacking but since I'm interested in this topic and didn't want to further pollute the forums I figured maybe we could try out the methods mentioned here by the others and compare so we could help others find out how best to use their spare RAM.
     
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post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Alright so not straight up /bin from / but what about /usr/bin/? Or better yet what directories would you recommend? And my cold starts is not so much the OS but each program when I want to run it the first time. In windows I deal with the long OS load and shutdown because the programs load much faster and respond better so I was kind of looking to do that with Linux but I think I'll try another way.
To me that better way would be mounting whatever directories are "bottlenecks" into RAM. And I am curious about mounting libs as that seems to be the big way to get a boost.
This is what I've added to /etc/fstab so far and while it hasn't really helped the programs run much faster (at least if the time command is anything to go by) things like webpages rendering (I'm horribly bottlenecked by my internet connection) have improved noticeably.
Code:
# Move /tmp to RAM
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noexec,nosuid 0 0
# Move cache to RAM
tmpfs /home/rez/.cache tmpfs defaults,noexec,nosuid 0 0
If I were to try mounting say /usr/lib what would I do? Should I mount things with the trailing / now that I think about it? Am I over thinking things? redface.gif
PS: Sorry Jrl if it seems like thread jacking but since I'm interested in this topic and didn't want to further pollute the forums I figured maybe we could try out the methods mentioned here by the others and compare so we could help others find out how best to use their spare RAM.

If you wanted to do the bin directories, then you really need to do the RAM disk syncing in kernel space, which means doing the RAID method mentioned earlier. My method is best left for stuff like your home directory as then there's no chance of rsync et al falling outside of the your $PATH (of course, you could always edit your PATH on the fly, but that would start getting very messy very quickly)
post #26 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Don't do the bin directories. You're likely to break more than your time is worth. Particularly if you do /bin/
And you can't get around an initial slow down on "cold starts" with a RAM disk. Which ever method you use, you're going to have to read from the HDD and dump it into RAM. That's completely and 100% unavoidable. So if you want to speed up cold starts, then you either need to buy an SSD or do some heavy RAIDing over fast HDDs.
This is why I suggest RAMdisk for user files - because doing it that way, you're then caching those files in RAM and offloading the HDD writes into a background process.

Alright so not straight up /bin from / but what about /usr/bin/? Or better yet what directories would you recommend? And my cold starts is not so much the OS but each program when I want to run it the first time. In windows I deal with the long OS load and shutdown because the programs load much faster and respond better so I was kind of looking to do that with Linux but I think I'll try another way.

To me that better way would be mounting whatever directories are "bottlenecks" into RAM. And I am curious about mounting libs as that seems to be the big way to get a boost.

This is what I've added to /etc/fstab so far and while it hasn't really helped the programs run much faster (at least if the time command is anything to go by) things like webpages rendering (I'm horribly bottlenecked by my internet connection) have improved noticeably.
Code:
# Move /tmp to RAM
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noexec,nosuid 0 0
# Move cache to RAM
tmpfs /home/rez/.cache tmpfs defaults,noexec,nosuid 0 0

If I were to try mounting say /usr/lib what would I do? Should I mount things with the trailing / now that I think about it? Am I over thinking things? redface.gif

PS: Sorry Jrl if it seems like thread jacking but since I'm interested in this topic and didn't want to further pollute the forums I figured maybe we could try out the methods mentioned here by the others and compare so we could help others find out how best to use their spare RAM.

No problem. More info the better. Basiclly I am trying to do two things here- speed up firefox and speed up libreoffice, both of which are slow to open and firefox isnt as fast as I would like browsing either.. So the files id like to mount are the exacutables for firefox and libreoffice and /tmp and firefoxs cache. Also I see the package manager cache is another importent one people seem to cache.

However, it seems this is sort of too complex and risky to match the small speed boost
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl1357 View Post

No problem. More info the better. Basiclly I am trying to do two things here- speed up firefox and speed up libreoffice, both of which are slow to open and firefox isnt as fast as I would like browsing either.. So the files id like to mount are the exacutables for firefox and libreoffice and /tmp and firefoxs cache. Also I see the package manager cache is another importent one people seem to cache.
However, it seems this is sort of too complex and risky to match the small speed boost

Running my script against Firefox's cache might see an improvement for you.
post #28 of 57
Alright...so besides /tmp (why giving this it's own tmpfs improved things is beyond me since I thought that is what was supposed to go on tmpfs in the first place) and /home/"user"/.cache what other read/write/access boot necks would you recommend for the mounting? I have exes in some of the ."directory" folders that would be included if I did my user folder (AKA /home/"user") so I'm assuming that they would vanish magically like always when I try to mount a directory that has exes/binaries/libs in them. Would adding rwx somewhere in the prior fstab example fix this at all?

On the flipside I decided to give tweaking preload.conf a try again and have, I think, come up with a pretty solid conf that should speed things up (still not like SSD or RAMdisk style but it's something noticeable) I'll put the whole conf I have in a spoiler but the big thing was changing the minimal size to track down to about 10kB and increasing the processes for parallel readahead from the default 30 to anything at or above 90 (currently I'm at 240). I haven't tested this out on my laptop beyond the 90 level so I have no idea how it effects battery life.

The parts I've changed will be in bold.
preload.conf (Click to show)
Code:
[model]

# cycle:
#
# This is the quantum of time for preload. Preload performs
# data gathering and predictions every cycle. Use an even
# number.
#
# Note: Setting this parameter too low may reduce system performance
# and stability.
#
# unit: seconds
# default: 20
#
cycle = 20

# usecorrelation:
#
# Whether correlation coefficient should be used in the prediction
# algorithm. There are arguments both for and against using it.
# Currently it's believed that using it results in more accurate
# prediction. The option may be removed in the future.
#
# default: true
usecorrelation = true

# minsize:
#
# Minimum sum of the length of maps of the process for
# preload to consider tracking the application.
#
# Note: Setting this parameter too high will make preload less
# effective, while setting it too low will make it eat
# quadratically more resources, as it tracks more processes.
#
# unit: bytes
# default: 2000000
#
[B]minsize = 10000[/B]

#
# The following control how much memory preload is allowed to use
# for preloading in each cycle. All values are percentages and are
# clamped to -100 to 100.
#
# The total memory preload uses for prefetching is then computed using
# the following formulae:
#
# max (0, TOTAL * memtotal + FREE * memfree) + CACHED * memcached
# where TOTAL, FREE, and CACHED are the respective values read at
# runtime from /proc/meminfo.
#

# memtotal: precentage of total memory
#
# unit: signed_integer_percent
# default: -10
#
memtotal = -10

# memfree: precentage of free memory
#
# unit: signed_integer_percent
# default: 50
#
memfree = 50

# memcached: precentage of cached memory
#
# unit: signed_integer_percent
# default: 0
#
memcached = 0


###########################################################################

[system]

# doscan:
#
# Whether preload should monitor running processes and update its
# model state. Normally you do want that, that's all preload is
# about, but you may want to temporarily turn it off for various
# reasons like testing and only make predictions. Note that if
# scanning is off, predictions are made based on whatever processes
# have been running when preload started and the list of running
# processes is not updated at all.
#
# default: true
doscan = true

# dopredict:
#
# Whether preload should make prediction and prefetch anything off
# the disk. Quite like doscan, you normally want that, that's the
# other half of what preload is about, but you may want to temporarily
# turn it off, to only train the model for example. Note that
# this allows you to turn scan/predict or or off on the fly, by
# modifying the config file and signalling the daemon.
#
# default: true
dopredict = true

# autosave:
#
# Preload will automatically save the state to disk every
# autosave period. This is only relevant if doscan is set to true.
# Note that some janitory work on the model, like removing entries
# for files that no longer exist happen at state save time. So,
# turning off autosave completely is not advised.
#
# unit: seconds
# default: 3600
#
autosave = 3600

# mapprefix:
#
# A list of path prefixes that controll which mapped file are to
# be considered by preload and which not. The list items are
# separated by semicolons. Matching will be stopped as soon as
# the first item is matched. For each item, if item appears at
# the beginning of the path of the file, then a match occurs, and
# the file is accepted. If on the other hand, the item has a
# exclamation mark as its first character, then the rest of the
# item is considered, and if a match happens, the file is rejected.
# For example a value of !/lib/modules;/ means that every file other
# than those in /lib/modules should be accepted. In this case, the
# trailing item can be removed, since if no match occurs, the file is
# accepted. It's advised to make sure /dev is rejected, since
# preload doesn't special-handle device files internally.
#
# Note that /lib matches all of /lib, /lib64, and even /libexec if
# there was one. If one really meant /lib only, they should use
# /lib/ instead.
#
# default: (empty list, accept all)
[B]mapprefix = /;/lib;/usr/lib;!/dev[/B]

# exeprefix:
#
# The syntax for this is exactly the same as for mapprefix. The only
# difference is that this is used to accept or reject binary exectuable
# files instead of maps.
#
# default: (empty list, accept all)
[B]exeprefix = /;/lib;/usr/bin;!/dev[/B]

# maxprocs
#
# Maximum number of processes to use to do parallel readahead. If
# equal to 0, no parallel processing is done and all readahead is
# done in-process. Parallel readahead supposedly gives a better I/O
# performance as it allows the kernel to batch several I/O requests
# of nearby blocks.
#
# default: 30
[B]processes = 240[/B]

# sortstrategy
#
# The I/O sorting strategy. Ideally this should be automatically
# decided, but it's not currently. One of:
#
# 0 -- SORT_NONE: No I/O sorting.
# Useful on Flash memory for example.
# 1 -- SORT_PATH: Sort based on file path only.
# Useful for network filesystems.
# 2 -- SORT_INODE: Sort based on inode number.
# Does less house-keeping I/O than the next option.
# 3 -- SORT_BLOCK: Sort I/O based on disk block. Most sophisticated.
# And useful for most Linux filesystems.
#
# default: 3
sortstrategy = 3
     
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post #29 of 57
Sorry for bumping this thread so soon but this question is eating at me:

Why not just create some directories in say /run/shm (the tmpfs default) and then mount -R the /lib and /usr/lib ones to them?
     
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post #30 of 57
You would have the same contents as /usr/lib on your ramdisk location but you will still be using /usr/lib off of your disk.

This might work for what you're trying to do.
Code:
mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /somedir
cp -a /usr/lib/* /somedir
mount -o bind /somedir /usr/lib

Save any unsaved work before trying smile.gif
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Overclock.net › Forums › Software, Programming and Coding › Operating Systems › Linux, Unix › Setting up a ram disk to speed things up