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Tool to move the web browser profile to RAM - Profile-sync-daemon

Profile-sync-daemon (psd) is a diminutive pseudo-daemon designed to manage your browser's profile in tmpfs and to periodically sync it back to your physical disc (HDD/SSD). This is accomplished via a symlinking step and an innovative use of rsync to maintain back-up and synchronization between the two. One of the major design goals of psd is a completely transparent user experience.

Running this daemon is beneficial for two reasons:
Reduced wear to physical discs
Since the profile(s), browser cache*, etc. are relocated into tmpfs (RAM disk), the corresponding onslaught of I/O associated with using the browser is also redirected from the physical disc to RAM, thus reducing wear to the physical disc and also greatly improving browser speed and responsiveness. For example, the access time of RAM is on the order of nanoseconds while the access time of physical discs is on the order of milliseconds. This is a difference of six orders of magnitude or 1,000,000 times faster.
Profile-sync-daemon Installation:
To add the PPA (personal package archive) to your Ubuntu (packages available for Lucid and newer) system, and to install psd, type following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graysky/utils
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install profile-sync-daemon
Profile-sync-daemon configuration:
After successful installation, you need to edit the Profile-sync-daemon settings in one of it's configuration file (/etc/psd.conf)

Edit the included /etc/psd.conf defining which user(s) will have their profiles managed by psd.
Optionally uncomment the BROWSERS array and populate it with whichever browser(s) are to be sync'ed to tmpfs. If the BROWSERS array stays commented (default) then all supported browser profiles will be sync'ed if they exist.
Now you need to close the browsers added to /etc/psd.conf - make sure they are not still running! - and start the Profile Sync Damon:
sudo service psd start
NOTE: Psd will update once per hour on its own thanks to /etc/cron.hourly/psd-update -- psd does NOT remain running in memory!


Mark Preston said...

After installing your :ppa, I edited my /etc/psd.conf file and added my username and issued sudo service psd start. Today, neither google-chrome nor firefox would start. I could not call Chrome from the panel, my desktop or the applications drop-down menu. Even this page as saved to my Desktop would not open a browser. It did open in gedit and I was able to find and execute the psd start command. When the chrome did open, it had none of my log-ins, passwords, etc. I'm not mad, but you haven't posted my first question here and now I'm having even bigger problems. Can you please tell me how to remove your psd.conf and restore my computer to a time, prior to this addition. I'm certain this is a wonderful idea, but it's harming my work. Please give me a little help.

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