BeleniX 0.7.1 will have the ability to copy the entire disk image to RAM and run entirely off RAM making I/O blindingly fast. This will also mean that harddisk install can complete in around 5-6 mins given a fast enough harddisk. This is similar to the “toram” option present in my favorite Linux LiveCD KnoppiX. One interesting observation we had while testing this feature is that the overall boot time inclusive of time taken to copy the CDROM image to memory hovers around 3mins which is the same as a normal boot of CDROM takes. Thus we gain without paying a boot time performance penalty.
All this is thanks to the work of Sham a student at JSS Academy and a SUN Campus ambassador who describes it in his blog here: http://blogs.sun.com/sham/entry/belenix_0_7_can_boot
I have been quite impressed with Sham’s perseverance and ability to dig through the numerous problems he faced with very little assistance whatsoever from me or others. These changes needed slight modifications to quite early stages in boot which are quite difficult to debug.