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I am aware of Puppy linux for this but am not happy with there only being a root user. Would it be a hard job to tell a Linux distro to copy everything to RAM and then run from it?

I don't want to get a bad rep for this but I plan to put together a small LAMP which runs its OS from RAM. I have spoken to many people about this and get very mixed responses the reasons for which I do understand but am going to do this anyway.

Is there a live distro that might suit my purpose? I would be happier in say a Debian environment then have to get used to Puppy. I would rather have multiple users too so my root remains private which is unavailable in Puppy - or is this really necessary? Considering it is a LAMP I would have thought this would be needed for a more secure setup...


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SystemRescueCD supports loading the entire image into RAM during boot. The main problem you'll encounter is that persistent data will disappear when you turn off the box, so you'll either need some way to synchronize modified data to a persistent storage device, or just not store anything non-persistent that you need.

Since SysRescCD is based on Gentoo, it should be fairly easy to build your own modified SystemRescueCD with the packages you already need pre-installed, so you can use their "boot into RAM" feature without having to install lots of packages and configuration files each time you boot.

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Last I tried (and it's been a while), the Knoppix distribution (based on debian) had a toram boot option which would load the entire disk image into memory before booting the system. It was lightning fast once it was loaded.

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There are distributions designed for this purpose. In some distros ie Fedora, you can add live_ram to the kernel parameter in grub and it would copy the image entirely to RAM.

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Here is how to run debian from ram :

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We try and refrain from link only answers to prevent loss of information if the link goes dead. Could you summarize the guide in your answer? – Michael Frank Dec 23 '13 at 2:08

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