Since I am running on a 16g 900 eeepc I have conceirns about allowing programs to use the drive for temp stuff. Things like browser cache etc... So I explored the idea of creating a ram drive and using it for all my programs that need a cache directory (like thunderbird and firefox). So through research and reading I found out that Ubuntu comes with a standard automatically re sizable ram drive at "/dev/shm". I am a total noob to linux, so if there is something wrong with what I am saying then please let me know. As I understand it this cache is a dynamic cache that can use up to half of your available ram. Since I added 2g to my machine when I got it I have been looking to better utilize this speedy storage. The trick was to find out how to tell firefox to use /dev/shm as it's cache location.
It turns out that there is a hidden setting in firefox called browser.cache.disk.parent_directory and all you need to do is set it's value to /dev/shm and restart firefox and then you are on your way to speedier surfing. so how do you set this, well it is simple
1) open firefox and type about:config in the address bar
2) accept the terms and click the "i'll be carefull" button
3) right click on any of the values on the screen to bring up the context menu and click new->string
4) the first prompt wants the name of the string enter "browser.cache.disk.parent_directory" without the quotes
5) the next prompt is the value set it to "/dev/shm/" without the quotes
6) restart firefox
7) type about:cache in the browser bar and it should tell you it is using /dev/shm under "Disk Cache Device" if you don't see a "Disk Cache Device" section you did something wrong.
My hope is to find more programs that I can associate with this dynamic ram drive, maybe even use it for the linux core itself, although I'm not sure there would be any benefit, maybe some of you more knowledgeable linux gurus can fill me in
Awesome!! I have a 16G 900 as well ( the one with the single slower SSD ) and firefox is the only place that I have experienced hangups. This simple fix completely eliminated any hangups and I now have a smooth web browsing experience.
Thanks for tip, but don't forget that this will work until reboot, and shouldn't be used for slow connections (like GPRS/EDGE).
Just for clarification, the shm directory is created by ubuntu so it will be available after every reboot, and the parent directory setting is sticky as well. However the data stored on the RAM based drive is volatile so it will be wiped out on every reboot. Which is not a bad thing IMO...
I do understand what you are saying about slow connections, however for me, my usage on my PPP connection through a Treo 700p on the sprint network is mostly limited to email anyway so this setting has little effect, plus I am in a Sprint high speed EVDO area so the little browsing I do is still fast.
But thanks for pointing that out for those who are truly in a low speed connection setting. Deleting the cache files on every reboot may cause some additional slowness since the cached images are getting cleared on every reboot. So your browser needs to re-download them at least one time after every reboot.
Everyone needs to weigh this against their personal usage. I think most people using an eeePC will be in a highspeed connection environment. Especially those people trying custom builds of operating systems on their devices. I would tent to think we would be the more tech savvy crowd, but I could be wrong....
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:00 pm Posts: 560
eeePC model: 1000H
Aurora version: Standard 3.0
Great hint, but to be fair this is available in Debian, and indeed the default OS that comes with your eeepc Xandros. I have just tested it and it also works a treat on my 1000. Best to switch into Advanced desktop to make the change, but I guess you could do it in the Easy desktop if you wanted.
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