Ivor O’Connor

April 19, 2009

Speeding up the boot process

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:12 pm

It takes a long time for my computer to boot up. Ubuntu is much faster than Vista. Neither of them are really finished when you think they are. After Vista throws up the desktop I must still wait. It’s only about a 1/3rd of the way finished and trying to do anything while it works in the background starting services. If I don’t wait I get strange very annoying results. Ubuntu is much more honest. When you see the destktop you can start working. However the network takes a bit longer to come up. So reading about the release of the next ubuntu version dedicated to improving boot times I decided to actually measure how long it takes me to boot up currently. And that’s a very very long time. Somewhere between 26 seconds and 52 seconds. Most of the time is waiting for I/O. I suppose I could buy a fancy SSD drive from Intel but I’ve been hearing they get fragmented quickly reducing their speeds down to normal drives and that they die quickly because of write backs. Apparently the memory can’t be read from and written to nearly as much as a normal hard disk and they quit working. And then there is the fact they cost close to $500 for 32GBs.

sudo apt-get install bootchart

This leaves a new png image in the directory /var/log/bootchart each time the machine is booted. That’s nice. I’d like to see a diff tool though. Something that goes through and tells you what is different between boots. So you don’t have to scrutinize images…

I also installed preload on all machines. This tool does not help with boot times but it does help with speeding up load time of commonly used applications.

sudo apt-get install preload

I’ll new release of Ubuntu will be officially released next week. I’ll install it with ext4 and compare boot times again. Ext4 is suppose to speed things up by 30 to 40 percent. So that 26 second boot time would be reduced by 7.5 to 10 seconds hopefully.

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