[clug] ARS: Ubuntu 9.10 boot optimizations: 5 second startup with an SSD

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Thu Oct 1 07:58:35 MDT 2009

On 23/09/09 19:38, Carlo Hamalainen wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 11:28 AM, Sam Couter<sam at couter.id.au>  wrote:
>> steve jenkin<sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au>  wrote:
>> That's pretty fast, but... A couple of minutes a few times a year waiting
>> for a computer to boot really isn't all that important. Making my Windows
>> machine at work boot that fast would be far more useful.
> Here's some ranting on boot times:
> http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2009/03/das-boot.html

The amusing thing about occasionally reading the Linux Haters blog is that 
they so often completely miss the point in their zeal to trash anything that 
Linux is doing.  I'm sure that the rumours of the Linux kernel being "bloated" 
and "full of regressions" (which are Linus's words at the recent Linux 
Plumbers Conference round-table) are eagerly being misreported too.

There are still a lot of people who shut down every night and start up every 
morning.  My partner is one, using Windows 2000, which can take upwards of two 
minutes every time.  And there are plenty of stories of people opening up 
their bag to find their Mac has been gently roasting itself by not correctly 
suspending and sitting, powered up and closed, in their backpack.

There are still people leaving their computers on at night (a big problem at 
almost every place I've worked) because they can't be bothered with the wait 
(however long it is) to get the machine booted in the morning.  At a place I 
worked recently they were seriously going to spend several thousand dollars on 
power boards that would sit on every desk and allow people to turn their 
machine physically off at the wall (rather than reach under the desk and plug) 
so they could virtuously save power rather than have the machine's power 
supply chewing up a watt or so.  Why?  Because it was too difficult to get the 
Windows sysadmins to enable the "stand by" option in Windows XP.  (Note that 
this didn't fix the problem of people not turning their machines off, it only 
added a tiny improvement - and an extra procedure - to those virtuous people 
that did).

So there are plenty of people who would benefit from faster boot times.  And, 
chances are, those improvements are going to flow through into faster 
everything.  Upstart is the big leader in this field - its whole purpose is to 
parallelise the process of changing states (e.g. power off to booted up, 
booted up to suspend to RAM, etc).  Getting that working improves people's 
suspend to RAM times down as well as improving the boot time.  If you can get 
the boot to happen faster by reading everything it needs before it's needed, 
then you can do the same with applications.

I don't bother to reply to the Linux Haters blog, though, because the whole 
thing is basically a big troll.  E might have a point occasionally, but that's 
irrelevant to the issue of hating "Linux" (whatever that is).

Have fun,


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