I am trying to quickly download images from a USB digital camera to a hard drive disk attached by USB to my raspberry pi. I want to minimize the time the camera needs to be connected to the pi during the download.

At the moment it seems to copy over to the hard drive at a rate of about 3-5MB/s depending on image size (I use gphoto2 for grabbing the images off the camera), which is OK but a little slow. I wanted to check what the speed was to copy just to the Pi's RAM, at which point I can disconnect the camera and later on move the files from the RAM to the hard drive at leisure.

Could anyone advise how I might be able to copy to RAM? I couldn't find a clear explanation anywhere...

Thanks for your help!

  • It might help if we knew what the goal of this was? Why is minimizing the time the camera is connected etc. Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 13:49
  • for a project taking a long stream of photos (more than I can fit on an SD card) in periodic bursts, where the time between bursts (when I can transfer the data) needs to be minimized.
    – 3lbom
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 14:25
  • Just note that the Pi has limited RAM. A few photos is okay, but you can't fit an entire SD card.
    – Gerben
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


One method would be to create a RAM disk.

I use one simply to save wear and tear on the SD card.

Create a mount point on the SD card, e.g. /ram

mkdir /ram

The following command allocates a 100 MB ram disk and mounts it at /ram

sudo mount -osize=100m tmpfs /ram -t tmpfs

You could add the command (without the sudo) to the root crontab.


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