New utility: Make RAM Disk

2007-09-29 16:30:16 UTC

Make RAM Disk is a simple app to create and mount a RAM disk on Mac OS X 10.4 or later. It encapsulates my previously-stated series of terminal commands into a tiny little app—just launch it and go.

I use my RAM disk for three things:

  • Download holding area. I have Mail, Safari, OmniWeb, and Adium all set to download files to the RAM disk. If I decide I don’t want to keep the download, I just leave it there until shutdown (only works on my desktop Mac).
  • iShowU storage. I create a 1-GiB RAM Disk named “iShowU temp” which iShowU is set to use as its scratch disk. Using a RAM disk for this helps your recording frame rate.
  • Xcode build folder. On my laptop, I symlink the project’s build folder over to the RAM disk (e.g., mkdir /Volumes/RAM\ Disk/Adium-build && ln -s /Volumes/RAM\ Disk/Adium-build build). This cuts out a lot of the disk grinding that happens during a build, which I believe helps my battery life.

Enjoy!

4 Responses to “New utility: Make RAM Disk”

  1. berdan Says:

    Shouldn’t the ln command in the Xcode build example be the opposite way, “ln -s /Volumes/RAM\ Disk/Adium-build/ build”, or am I misunderstanding what you’re trying to achieve? Your example produces errors and not much else since the Adium-build folder you’re linking to already exists.

  2. Peter Hosey Says:

    berdan: You’re right. Sorry about that. Fixed.

  3. Andriy Says:

    Here is my experience using a RAM disk to make my builds faster: http://blog.mousefeed.com/2007/12/faster-build-compilation-with-ram-disk.html

    This setup is on Linux, but it is close enough to what you described.

  4. Peter Hosey Says:

    Andriy: Rock on. It was good to read in your post that Linux’s RAM disk is lazy, like Mac OS X’s.

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