Linux distributions that can be run entirely from the computer’s RAM

Did you know about Linux distributions that can be run entirely from the computer’s Random-access memory (RAM)? That ability allows them to be very fast, since reading and writing data from/to RAM is almost instant, much faster than on a physical hard drive. Many of these operating systems tend to be minimal in size, stored in compressed forms such as squashsf file formats, and will load entirely from a removable media such as a Live CD or a Live USB stick without the need for a hard drive. This helps prolong the battery life of laptops, as it minimizes the need to physically manipulate the hard drive. A full install can also often be completed, allowing boot up from a hard disk drive instead.

Another example of extreme performance optimization is Gentoo Linux. Unlike a binary software distribution, where users download executable packages to install software, the entire source code is compiled locally according to the user’s preferences and thereby optimized for their specific type of computer. Gentoo appeals to Linux users who want full control of the software that is installed and running on their computer. People who are prepared to invest the time required to configure and tune a Gentoo system can build very efficient desktops and servers. Gentoo encourages users to build a Linux kernel tailored to their particular hardware. It allows very fine control of which services are installed and running; also, memory usage can be reduced, compared to other distributions, by omitting unnecessary kernel features and services.