[linux-lvm] lvm partition on ramdisk

Larry Dickson ldickson at cuttedge.com
Mon May 19 14:37:13 UTC 2008

Final results FYI in this investigation: A recent Ubuntu release gets past
the 1TB limit. I found binaries for dosfstools_2.11-2.1ubuntu3 at


and unpacked them with ar -x. The source is in


With 4KB sectors, it defaults to 128KB clusters and reaches over 97% write
speed on an 8TB volume. The ramdisk area needed is a little over 512MB, so
if you use 768MB you get quite a bit of room for directories also on
ramdisk, and with a little finesse you can even make the subdirectories lay
themselves down on ramdisk. To be "Windows-legal" you could use 32KB
clusters and a little over 2GB ramdisk (or a little over 1GB with one FAT).
Linux is happy with the big clusters, and according to the design should
actually be willing to go to 16TB.


On 5/13/08, Stuart D. Gathman <stuart at bmsi.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 13 May 2008, Larry Dickson wrote:
> > on the full, unpartitioned lv. Then it mounted, with the entire FAT on
> > ramdisk, and wrote very fast because FAT32 (like DOS) lays down data in
> > order from the start of a disk and does not skip around (I'd be
> interested
> > if anyone knows any other file systems with that property).
> The SysV filesystem put a fixed size inode table at the beginning of a
> partition.  More modern filesystems from ext to reiser try to distribute
> the meta-data to keep it closer to the data.  This is, of course, counter
> productive when the beginning of a disk is significantly faster and
> seek-free
> as in your setup.
> Since ext3 inode placement is table driven (with the table in a magic
> inode),
> there is probably a simple patch to mke2fs to create only one inode table
> at
> the beginning of a drive.  In fact, I wonder if there is already an
> option...
> looks like -g blocks_per_group might do the trick - assuming inodes are
> at the beginning of a block group, rather than the middle.  If not,
> a patch to mke2fs is needed to do what you want.
> --
>              Stuart D. Gathman <stuart at bmsi.com>
>    Business Management Systems Inc.  Phone: 703 591-0911 Fax: 703 591-6154
> "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis" - background song for
> a Microsoft sponsored "Where do you want to go from here?" commercial.
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