If I use a LiveUSB, non persistent mode, with the -toram command added to the boot options, will the USB's lifespan be reduced significantly? As far as I understand, LiveUSB runs entirely off the RAM, so the USB does not suffer from excessive write cycles, right?

  • 2
    If you're not using persistence, my understanding is that there should be no write cycles whatsoever occurring on the device (regardless of whether or not you use toram). This is why you can run Ubuntu from a read-only live medium such as a DVD. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


The non-persistent LiveUSB does run entirely off RAM with the toram boot option. It doesn't use read/write cycles of the LiveUSB.

Without the toram boot option, I just tested to confirm. I pull the USB out during a session. None of the items would load after then, including the Ubuntu Dash search. Also, when I exited out of Firefox it crashed.

Also, the shutdown failed to complete successfully.

With the toram option all all test performs as normal with the LiveUSB removed after the desktop is loaded.

Details for adding the toram option can be found at:
Can I boot a Live USB fully to RAM, allowing me to remove the disk?.

  • Good answer with testing to back it up! To add on it, I think that Ubuntu has a balance of reading from the USB for necessary files and loading assets into RAM. For it to be completely run off RAM wouldn't be very efficient for the operating system or computer it's running on.
    – TheOdd
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 21:24
  • Did you try the toram command in the boot options? I found that the toram command let's me unplug the usb after a full boot, with no repercussions. Thus demands more research! askubuntu.com/questions/829917/…
    – Arctus
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:14
  • @Arv Thanks. I'll update the information to the answer. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 8:59
  • I used multisystem, and it added the toram option, now I know what it means!
    – Quidam
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 15:39

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