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An Update On The Boot & Power Performance In Ubuntu 10.04

Michael Larabel

Published on 25 February 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 2 - 17 Comments

In December we wrote that Ubuntu 10.04 already shortened the boot time, which has been a great focus amongst Canonical and Ubuntu developers as they strive for a ten second boot. A lot has changed since that article was published last year, including the introduction of Plymouth and many kernel mode-setting improvements along with the introduction of Nouveau for NVIDIA KMS support. We've ran a new boot performance comparison on two laptops and a netbook as we see how the boot times are looking with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS when compared to Ubuntu 9.10. We have also looked at how the power consumption has changed in the Lucid Lynx for these mobile devices.

The first system we tested with Ubuntu 9.10 and Ubuntu 10.04 (2010-02-23 daily LiveCD snapshot) was a Samsung NC10 netbook. This Intel-powered netbook had an Atom N270 1.60GHz processor, Intel 945GME graphics, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 32GB OCZ Core Series SSD, and a 1024 x 600 LVDS panel. We compared the 2.6.31-based Ubuntu 9.10 and 2.6.32-based Ubuntu 10.04 daily LiveCD in a stock configuration after both operating systems were cleanly installed. This process was the same when testing out the other notebooks/netbooks as well. Below is the Bootchart output from the Karmic Koala and Lucid Lynx on the Samsung NC10.

Bootchart reported a 54 second boot time for Ubuntu 9.10 and with the Ubuntu 10.04 daily build from 23 February, 2010 this dropped down to 17.51 seconds. The maximum disk throughput during the boot process also improved substantially going from 59MB/s to 107MB/s. This improved boot performance can be attributed to fewer processes being started up, a faster starting X.Org Server, Plymouth, and various other optimizations. The next system tested was a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 notebook with an Intel Core Duo T2400 dual-core processor clocked at 1.83GHz, a 945GM + ICH7-M motherboard, 1GB of system memory, an 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9SA00 SATA HDD, ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics with 128MB of video memory, and a 1400 x 1050 LVDS panel.

Ubuntu 9.10 took 65 seconds to boot from this aging 15.4-inch notebook while with Ubuntu Lucid right now it is taking 20.36 seconds. Unlike with the Samsung NC10, the disk throughput had not changed significantly for the Hitachi SATA HDD on the ThinkPad T60. Ubuntu 9.10's maximum disk throughput was 33MB/s and with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS as of the latest build is running at 31MB/s. Our next set of results come from a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor, 4GB of DDR3 system memory, a 100GB Hitachi HTS72201 SATA HDD, 1680 x 1050 LVDS panel, and a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M graphics processor. Unlike the other two setups, the ThinkPad T61 was using Ubuntu 64-bit due to the supported Core 2 Duo processor.

Under Ubuntu 9.10, Bootchart reported a time of 62 seconds and a maximum disk throughput of 31MB/s. With the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS development snapshot, the boot time as reported by Bootchart dropped down to 14.25 seconds and the disk throughput doubled to a speed of 63MB/s.

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