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10.4: Improve Spotlight's search speed
Authored by: stephendv on May 11, '05 08:28:08AM

How about moving the Spotlight index files to a RAM disk? Would this speed things up?

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10.4: Improve Spotlight's search speed
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Jan 24, '09 04:24:09AM

It's not really possible (in a practical fashion, anyway) to put the Spotlight index files into a RAMdisk. The index files for each volume are stored on that volume, so if you had more than one volume, you'd have to either have multiple RAMdisks (one for each volume), or some clever coding to change this behavior and store them all in a single RAMdisk (not to mention the coding necessary to get OS X to put the indexes onto a RAMdisk in the first place, even for a single volume).

Even if putting the Spotlight index files onto a RAMdisk were possible, it would be a bad idea for most people, since these index files would be rebuilt every time you restarted your Mac (since restarting wipes the contents of the RAMdisk). I know some people manage to keep their Macs running for days, weeks, or longer between restarts, so maybe they'd find this useful.

But I suspect that the speed issue behind the Spotlight index update process isn't so much due to writing the index file's updates, but due to reading from the volume it's indexing--when I use Activity Monitor to watch activity during Spotlight indexing, I see far more reads than writes.

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