Use your usb flash drive as virtual ram mac

Calculate this number by multiplying your desired size of disk in megabytes by Input this number in place of the X characters in the command above:. After a brief moment, the system will create and mount your RAM Disk.


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You can now read and write to it as you would with any other drive, as long as you remember that any data stored on the disk will be lost after a reboot or power loss. For an even easier method, you can use a third party app to create a RAM Disk.

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Download the app and launch it on your Mac. It will ask you two questions: With both methods, you can get rid of the RAM Disk by ejecting it or rebooting. Again, make sure that all data on the disk is backed up before doing this; the data will be irrevocably lost once you reboot or lose power. The RAM Disk peaks at about 4. For disk-intensive tasks, this performance can be a game changer.


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As you can see, RAM Disks can offer power users an amazing level of performance, but it cannot be stressed enough the dangers of using volatile memory for data storage. As long as you keep good backups and save your work to a standard hard drive frequently, however, many users may find that the benefits of RAM Disks far outweigh the risks.

When applications and data need to be swapped out of RAM because the RAM is required for something else, the data is written to these files.


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  • Use Your USB Flash Drive As Virtual RAM.
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Later, when the old RAM content is needed again, it's read back in. There are some very old articles floating around that explain how to move the location of these swap files to another drive or partition to increase speed, but as I said, these are old, and there's an additional problem: In fact, I haven't been able to make a script that is executed late enough in the boot process to make this happen automatically.

How to Create a 4GB/s RAM Disk in Mac OS X - TekRevue

That said, it's not too hard to do manually. This requires keeping the system from initializing the virtual memory pager during the boot process. Then, at your convenience, you can start the daemon manually:. The -E flag makes sure your swap files are encrypted so that the contents of the system's memory can't be inspected by someone who swipes the flash drive—I tested without encryption, though.

You can check whether the daemon runs and uses the right directory with:.

Living dangerously: Moving your Mac’s swap files to a USB flash drive

After all of this, I started up pretty much all of my applications, and the system seemed to be more responsive than it is under such a load without this hack. However, after a few minutes, the system froze. After 10 seconds or so, it continued. This kept happening regularly. I then wrote a little test program that asks the system for a certain amount of memory and then proceeds to write data into that memory.

When the amount of memory requested fits into RAM, the program runs very fast. But when asking for more than that, the program slows down a lot as soon as old data has to be swapped out to make room in RAM for that part of the application data.