Buckbeak writes "I like to carry my Linux systems around with me, on USB flash drives. Typically, SanDisk Cruzers or Kingston HyperX. I encrypt the root partition and boot off the USB stick. Sometimes, the performance leaves something to be desired. I want to be able to do an 'apt-get upgrade' or 'yum update' while surfing but the experience is sometimes painful. What can I do to maximize the performance of Linux while running off of a slow medium? I've turned on 'noatime' in the mount options and I don't use a swap partition. Is there any way to minimize drive I/O or batch it up more? Is there any easy way to run in memory and write everything out when I shut down? I've tried both EXT2 and EXT3 and it doesn't seem to make much difference. Any other suggestions?"