Where does the tmpfs file system reside? In RAM or swap?

  • 2
    – slm
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 17:31
  • 5
    The answer is yes.
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 17:32
  • 4
    There's no request for learning materials here that I can see.
    – JdeBP
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:32
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    Strictly speaking, neither. It resides in the page cache, and those pages will get swapped out just like any other 'dirty' pages do when there's memory pressure. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


tmpfs filesystems (and thus devtmpfs filesytems) are implemented in Linux as essentially parts of the file and directory caches that have no persistent backing storage. The file data are, unlike ramfs filesystems, swappable however. So the file data can be either in physical RAM or held on a swap volume on a disc.

Note the plural, by the way. It is possible, and indeed usual with systems like the nosh system-manager and systemd, to have multiple tmpfs filesystems.

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