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Can I load my entire OS into the RAM? If so, how?

  1. Jul 8, 2013 #1
    The DDR3 1333 is relatively cheap, so I'm thinking about buying a server mobo that can stock up to 64 GB of RAM (2^64 enables that many address lines, I suppose?) Then I can pre-load the entire windows into the RAM, so :

    super-groovy and sweet just to think about
    lightning fast
    No need to worry about viruses (RAM would be wiped clean once off-line)

    Clearly very expensive
    The software may not exist
    Extra hardware maybe necessary
    updating windows would be complicated
    may be impractical due to windows' nature (disc borne, Ram-run)

    I tried SSD, yes it's fast, and it got me thinking, why bother SSD if RAM can be used for mass storage? Even if it means I have to use 32GB just to store the OS while the rest <32GB to run the OS?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2013 #2
    Windows primarily runs off of RAM as it is. With the windows repair/recover option, it's actually running a very light OS just off RAM. The same goes with when you boot with an Ubuntu LiveCD.

    Check this out. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BootToRAM

    The biggest issue I would have with it is an unexpected power loss or memory error causing (an attempted, at least) crash dump. Zap! All your work is gone.

    What's your intent with a build such as this?
  4. Jul 9, 2013 #3
    There are some really awesome lightweight linux distros that run basically all in ram
    For example puppy linux does just that if i remember right.. i think tinyos might i cant remember but google those and yeah..
    Winderp already has to much stuff in ram.. same with android.

    But this is a very powerful concept with good linux distros
  5. Jul 9, 2013 #4

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    B Elliot has a great point. And yes, it is fun to tink with stuff like that. Just don't trash your distro to do it.
    Remember all of the software you've installed?

    DSL (Damn** Small Linux), ARM and others are small for special reasons: Knoppix was definitely designed and (I believe DSL was designed) for diskless workstations to boot from a PROM or CD. ARM linux was designed for the chip the runs your home refrigerator or maybe your 2001 Toyota. It has a total of maybe 50MB.

    In fact having a Knoppix CD was a good idea as a rescue disk way back when.

    Have a read: this is meant for Raspberry Pi - another really fun, inexpensive thing to mess with using a tiny linux:


    These tiny versions don't do sound well, play games well or do graphics well necessarily. After you read the install guide you'll see the trade offs.

    If you want to do it - go for it. Just do not blow away your current distro. You may want it back when you get bored with wget instead of firefox.
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