I would like to turn off the disk / storage cache on Raspbian. I have done a serie of benchmarks on the microSD (http://jgp.net/microsd-card-performance-raspberry-pi/) but some people recommended I do the benchmarks with out cache activated.

As a more general question, is there a way to choose how much cache you want?

  • 1
    "some people recommended I do the benchmarks with out cache activated." -> Perhaps suggests an XY problem in that what you really want to do is clear the cache; see /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches. In any case, this is really a question about the linux kernel and has been appropriately migrated.
    – goldilocks
    Apr 2, 2016 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


You could try setting the direct=true parameter in fio. See the man page open(2) on the equivalent creation flag:

O_DIRECT. Try to minimize cache effects of the I/O to and from this file. In general this will degrade performance, but it is useful in special situations, such as when applications do their own caching. File I/O is done directly to/from user-space buffers.

  • It appears that fio --direct is not documented anymore. It still works with --direct=0 or --direct=1, but does not seem to do much.
    – jgp
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:12
  • did you try adding the line direct=1 after the size= lines in the *.fio files?
    – meuh
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:18
  • Sorry -- it is documented, but it does not seem to affect the results on the platform (Raspberry Pi).
    – jgp
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:18
  • Yes on direct=1 - sorry - it does not seem to affect the results, I will have more (heavier) tests to see if it affects it.
    – jgp
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:19

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