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Linaro Introduces "Boottime" For Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 12 October 2012 01:07 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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Up to this point if you have wanted to monitor the start-up/boot performance of a Linux system, namely how long it takes the Linux kernel to boot, you have had to use an independent utility like Bootchart. Now with work done by the Linaro project, there is an in-kernel measurement capabilities via a new "Boottime" patch.

Linaro developers have created Boottime as a tool for automatic measurement of the kernel / boot-loader boot time. Unlike Bootchart as a separate utility that needs to be installed, Boottime was developed with an aim of getting it in the mainline Linux kernel.

The kernel boot time is then exposed conveniently via the sysfs/boottime interface and there's more detailed information exposed over debugfs such as the average load during the boot process. Lee Jones of Linaro says the overhead of integrating Boottime into the kernel is very low.

From the patch, "Adds sysfs entries (boottime/) with start-up timing information. If CONFIG_DEBUG_FS is enabled, detailed information about the boot time, including system load during boot can be extraced. This information can be visualised with help of the bootgraph script."

Hopefully Boottime will be integrated into the mainline Linux kernel soon. This work would also be very useful and could be incorporated into the Phoronix Test Suite for making it trivial to conduct Linux kernel boot speed comparisons, etc in a fully automated manner using our testing framework and the results could then be shared and analyzed on OpenBenchmarking.org.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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