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Old 11-28-2005, 10:51 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 97

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question What does kernel parameter ramdisk_size do?


I am trying to boot Damn Small Linux (a Knoppix derivative) on an old laptop with 80MB memory.
All of the examples of loading the kernel include this parameter
(Both Knoppix and DSL use this kernel parameter.)

According to one web site, the ramdisk size is given in 1024-byte blocks.
This means that it is asking for a 100MB ramdisk, which is more than the amount of memory my laptop has.

Can someone please tell me
1. Is the info above correct?
2. what does the kernel do if there is not enough RAM for the given ramdisk_size?
3. Any DSL or Knoppix gurus out there... Does the ramdisk_size really need to be that big? How small can it be and still do what it needs to do?

- TSloth
Old 11-28-2005, 10:55 AM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Vectorlinux SOHO 5
Posts: 19

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first of all: do u have a ramdisc?
its kinda a PCI card with ram memory on it, used to store the bootfiles.
i compiled my kernel today, i just removed the ramdisc support :P
Old 06-13-2008, 03:43 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2006
Distribution: Debian (Sarge,Sid,Etch)
Posts: 8

Rep: Reputation: 1
Ramdisck in context of linux systems for home users..

Ramdisck , > in context of linux systems for home users <,
- is a reserved space in the RAM(RandomAccessMemory) of your pc/mac/laptop/desktop -computer,
and if you don't have enough RAM you'd better not use boot parameters with this option.

The system i.e. "damn small linux" or smth. else would work much slower in this case or if
it really depends on ramdisck very much - wouldn't work at all .

In this case either you bye more RAM and install it into your computer, or try boot
parameters to start your "damn small linux" without ramdisck and be content with slower system.

To make your system a little bit quicker you could make a partition on your disk with the help
of something like knopix cd and make it a swap partiton.

if you use a ramdisk as boot parameter the booting is slower but working with the system afterwards
is quicker and vice versa, becouse the system copies itself on the ramdisk
and works direcktly form memory afterwards.

Otherwise it works from the media you use for booting (usb-stick or cdrom) in which cases it is slower
espacially in case of cdrom but usually you don't need ramdisk at all costs.

Last edited by ajo0909; 06-13-2008 at 03:44 AM.


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