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Thread: How fast does your PC boot?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default How fast does your PC boot?


    Just spent some hours tweaking my Archlinux install on my OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD. I dedicated 10GB to Archlinux, currently just over 5GB is being used. Specifications:

    Laptop, Dell Inspiron 1520
    CPU: Intel T8300 (2.4 C2D 3MB)
    GFX: NVIDIA 8600M GT 256MB DDR2 (nvidia driver 185.13, xorg 1.6, gnome 2.26.0)
    MEM: 2*2048MB Corsair Value 667MHz
    HDD: none
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 60GB with firmware 1275 and 64K partition alignment

    I'm using ext4:

    UUID=3cdd02eb-7cdf-4772-bd6a-ed4a791a0e0e    /    ext4    noload,nodiratime,rw,barrier=0,nobh,commit=15,nouser_xattr    0    1

    See the thread here for information on how to reduce boot time:

    As you can see it boots from GRUB to console login in 9 seconds. To see how fast it would boot to X, I enabled auto login in GDM and added Firefox with about:cache as a startup application in Gnome. From GRUB to Firefox fully loaded takes 16 seconds.

    What tweaks have you applied to your systems? I'm currently trying to benchmark my SSD with different filesystems. So far I've come to the conclusion that the deadline scheduler with some tweaks (see below) is the fastest.

    echo 0 > /sys/block/sda/queue/rotational
    echo 4 > /sys/block/sda/queue/iosched/writes_starved
    echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/queue/iosched/fifo_batch
    echo 256 > /sys/block/sda/queue/nr_requests
    echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
    I'm using kernel 2.6.29-zen3-ARCH-20090404-08318-g1e28aa5 (zen-sources), I think you need some 2.6.29 for /sys/block/sda/queue/rotational to exist. I'm not sure what impact that setting has yet, though.

    I also created a ramdisk and moved some stuff over there:

    mkdir /dev/shm/tmp
    mount -o bind /dev/shm/tmp /tmp
    mkdir -p /dev/shm/var/abs/local
    mount -o bind /dev/shm/var/abs/local /var/abs/local
    mkdir /dev/shm/ramdisk
    mount -o bind /dev/shm/ramdisk /home/fackamato/ramdisk
    mkdir -p /dev/shm/var/log
    mount -o bind /dev/shm/var/log /var/log
    chmod 1777 /tmp
    chmod 1777 /home/fackamato/ramdisk
    chmod 1777 /var/abs/local
    Also one very important bit: Removing any vga= parameter from the kernel command line speeds up things a lot. So, just plain low-res text boot really speeds it up.
    Last edited by fackamato; 04-05-2009 at 02:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    lenny boots in about 1'30'' to 2' depending on how many stuff was still open when exiting kde.

    tweaks: fast hdd

    oh and: fsck of 400gb / every 2 weeks takes *some* time :-D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Ver cool stuff fackamato! How do you specify in bootchart to stop the stopwatch right after firefox?

    I am doing something similar with a script I wrote. It's a very pedestrian approach, but it has the advantage of appending one line to the same file after each boot automatically with the boot time so I can compare easily. I am also doing autologin, and opening and closing immediatley one xterm (should be much faster than firefox) before stamping the time. I am getting this:

    grisell: ~> cat ~/boot_time.log
    Fri Apr 10 23:30:01 EDT 2009. Boot time [s] : 80
    Sat Apr 11 11:14:12 EDT 2009. Boot Time [s]: 202
    Sat Apr 11 11:24:59 EDT 2009. Boot Time [s]: 78
    In the 202s boot I added "profile" at the grub prompt, apparently this gave a modest speedup (2.5% or so, but it could be just statistical noise)

    This is in my old Sempron system, specs here:

    My eeepc 701 with Kubuntu 8.04 is booting in about the same time from the ssd drive. Specs here:

    It is amazing how much an ssd card helps to boot up quickly! Reads are a blast. Note that that the eee systems is a lot slower than the sempron. Actually, the same eeepc with Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 nightly build from an sdhc is booting in 45 seconds! (the sdhc reads are slower than an ssd). Using ext4 instead of ext3 gave about a 10% speedup.

    Last edited by mendieta; 04-11-2009 at 03:03 PM.

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