Saturday 12 November 2011

Speeding up browsing on my EeePC

My Asus Eeepc 901 has a small SSD (solid state disk) in it, which should be quicker than a 'normal' hard disk, but seems to be very slow loading web pages.

I'm running Chromium browser (the open source port of Google Chrome) on Crunchbang Linux, and I've just discovered the following tweak which seems to have given me a significant speed boost.

The Asus has 1GB of RAM, so I've created a 256MB ramdisk on /media/ramdisk (crunchbang doesn't seem to use much RAM), and told chromium to put its cache there.  Since doing so I'm not spending nearly as much time looking at the words "waiting for cache" in the bottom left corner before webpages load.

Here's how I did it:

Open a terminal and type (as root)

mkdir -p /media/ramdisk

mount -t tmpfs -o size=256M tmpfs /media/ramdisk

Which will give you a 256MB ram drive mounted on /media/ramdisk.  To make this permanent you can add the following line to /etc/fstab

none    /media/ramdisk  tmpfs   defaults,size=256m      1       2

Then all you need to do is tell chromium to use that location for its cache, by modifying the shortcut or menu item that launches your browser to:

chromium-browser --disk-cache-dir="/media/ramdisk"

On Crunchbang, I did this by editing:


Then you're all done.  Assuming your internet connection is quick enough, your netbook won't hold you up waiting for cache or writing to disk when you load webpages.  Let me know if it worked for you in the comments.

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