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BSD 2.11 - man page for ram (bsd section 4)

RAM(4)					       Kernel Interfaces Manual 				       RAM(4)

NAME
ram - ram disk driver
SYNOPSIS
/sys/conf/SYSTEM: NRAM ram_size # RAM disk size (512-byte blocks) major device number(s): block: 3 minor device encoding: must be zero (0)
DESCRIPTION
The ram pseudo-device provides a very fast extended memory store. It's use is intended for file systems like /tmp and applications which need to access a reasonably large amount of data quickly. The amount of memory dedicated to the ram device is controlled by the NRAM definition in units of 512-byte blocks. This is also patchable in the system binary through the variable ram_size (though a patched system would have to be rebooted before any change took effect; see adb(1)). This makes it easy to test the effects of different ram disk sizes on system performance. It's important to note that any space given to the ram device is permanently allocated at system boot time. Dedicating too much memory can adversely affect system performance by forcing the system to swap heavily as in a memory poor environment. The block file accesses the ram disk via the system's buffering mechanism through a buffer sharing arrangement with the buffer cache. It may be read and written without regard to physical disk records. There is no `raw' interface since no speed advantage is gained by such an interface with the ram disk.
DISK SUPPORT
The ram driver does not support pseudo-disks (partitions). The special files refer to the entire `drive' as a single sequentially addressed file. A typical use for the ram disk would be to mount /tmp on it. Note that if this arrangement is recorded in /etc/fstab then /etc/rc will have to be modified slightly to do a mkfs(8) on the ram disk before the standard file system checks are done.
FILES
/dev/ram block file /dev/MAKEDEV script to create special files /dev/MAKEDEV.local script to localize special files
SEE ALSO
hk(4), ra(4), rl(4), rk(4), rp(4), rx(4), si(4), xp(4) dtab(5), autoconfig(8)
DIAGNOSTICS
ram: no space. There is not enough memory to allocate the space needed by the ram disk. The ram disk is dis- abled. Any attempts to access it will return an error. ram: not allocated. No memory was allocated to the ram disk and an attempt was made to open it. Either not enough memory was available at boot time or the kernel variable ram_size was set to zero.
BUGS
The ram driver is only available under 2.11BSD. 3rd Berkeley Distribution Januray 27, 1996 RAM(4)


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