With the Atom-based ASUS Eee PC 901 we have already delivered disk encryption benchmarks and a Linux distribution comparison of Xandros, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. This Intel 1.6GHz Diamondville processor isn't the fastest, but it's performing quite well for a netbook. With netbooks and their users often on the go though, for those not using the suspend and resume mode the boot time can be equally important as the in-desktop performance. To look at this we are delivering boot performance benchmarks for the Eee PC 901 from Fedora 9, Fedora 10, Ubuntu 8.10, and Mandriva 2009.
mlau: the problem with that type of technique is that it's extremely dependent on a specific hardware configuration. You can't ship a general purpose distribution with that kind of init system. It just doesn't work.
Tweaking a heavy, general purpose init system like the ones all mainstream distros use is an entirely different proposition from writing a very skeletal init system which works extremely fast on one precisely defined set of hardware. And both are important in the current market.
A general purpose distro like those on trial here can't take anything meaningful from that Intel work, good stuff though it is.
In that vein of specialized init systems, see finit - http://helllabs.org/finit/ - Claudio Matsuoka's generalized and improved re-implementation of the 'fastinit' system used in the Xandros distro that comes pre-installed on the Eee.
I got 2009.0 (Cooker) as of yesterday to boot on my 901 in 27s!
This is with no modifications.
I'm guessing that the recent readahead and preload work as really paid off. I've left the tiny bootbooster partition in place, so the bios boot adds only a another 1 second to the total boot time. The auto login and loading of the compiz/gnome desktop is pretty quick aswell.