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Is Fedora's Boot Time Increasing?

Michael Larabel

Published on 29 September 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 3 - 15 Comments

The last time we closely examined the boot performance of Fedora Linux was in 2008 when comparing the boot times from Fedora Core 4 through Fedora 8. However, with more distributions taking pride in recent months over shortening their boot time -- with Canonical for example having worked towards a ten second Ubuntu boot time -- we decided to see how long it's taking Fedora to put its hat on these days. With the three Intel notebooks we used from our recent Fedora power consumption review, we measured the boot times using Bootchart on the Fedora 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 Alpha releases.

For those that did not get a chance yet to examine the results from our Fedora battery power testing below are the hardware configurations for the three ThinkPad notebooks that were used for this testing.

Lenovo ThinkPad R52
Processor: Intel Pentium M @ 1.86GHz (Total Cores: 1), Motherboard: IBM 18494WU, Chipset: Intel Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML + ICH6M, Memory: 2004MB, Disk: 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9AT00, Graphics: Mobility Radeon X300 (300/230MHz)

Lenovo ThinkPad T60
Processor: Intel CPU T2400 @ 1.83GHz (Total Cores: 2), Motherboard: LENOVO 2613EJU, Chipset: Intel Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS + ICH7-M, Memory: 1GB, Disk: 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9SA00, Graphics: ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 (392/350MHz)

Lenovo ThinkPad T61
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T9300 @ 2.50GHz (Total Cores: 2), Motherboard: LENOVO 6459CTO, Chipset: Intel Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 + ICH8M-E, Memory: 3GB, Disk: 100GB Hitachi HTS72201, Graphics: nVidia Quadro NVS 140M

Again, the Fedora 10 release had the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, Fedora 11 shipped with Linux 2.6.29, Fedora 12 had Linux 2.6.31, Fedora 13 had the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, and the current Fedora 14 Alpha release is based upon the Linux 2.6.35 kernel. While running off AC power and prior to running our power consumption tests after performing clean, stock installations of the 32-bit Fedora releases, we recorded the boot times using Bootchart.

The first Bootchart results are from the T61 with its Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" processor. Since the release of Fedora 10 in 2008, Fedora's boot performance at least with this Intel notebook has not improved but in fact has regressed. Fedora 10 had a boot time of 25 seconds, Fedora 11 did shorten the boot time to 21 seconds, Fedora 12 then regressed to 28 seconds, and Fedora 14 Alpha right now is at 33 seconds. We are not as concerned about the current Fedora 14 results as it is still in development and Red Hat employs a number of debugging options within its Linux kernel during development, which may slow down the results some, but still the Fedora 13 boot time was not too promising and is further behind than it was in Fedora 10/11. Meanwhile, the maximum disk throughput during the boot process for each succeeding release was 11MB/s, 12MB/s, 14MB/s, 35MB/s, and then 12MB/s with Laughlin.

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