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Booting Linux In Just One Second

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  • Booting Linux In Just One Second

    Phoronix: Booting Linux In Just One Second

    One of the most interesting presentations from this year's Embedded Linux Conference Europe was how-to boot Linux in under one second!..

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Linux-1-Second

  • #2
    Nice to see that people are interested in fast boot on Linux, especially now when suspend to RAM doesn't work or is problematic

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    • #3
      For CPU reset to drop ... around 2 seconds for uboot + non modular kernel is pretty easy. No real odd tweaks / modifications required. Of course this means your kernel can't be full to the brim with features... and of course this means dropping it to a standard shell and not some fancy GUI.

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      • #4
        I'm still amazed at how quickly by little kabini system starts up, self compiled kernel (everything required built in including firmware,nothing else switched on) which is loaded directly by UEFI, using systemd and loading up Plasma 5, it just seems to go from the UEFI splash directly to loading plasma. I'm looking forward to seeing how fast I can get my new Alienware 15 system to do the same when it's delivered.

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        • #5
          I can see the industrial applications for this kind of technique, but there must be some drawbacks, would it be practical to use this technique as a standard in Linux, just so that linux will boot faster in general?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rabcor View Post
            I can see the industrial applications for this kind of technique, but there must be some drawbacks, would it be practical to use this technique as a standard in Linux, just so that linux will boot faster in general?

            Just by looking at the presentation, I can name a few general prinicples, that are applied to reduce the boot time, but might be impractical for other applications:

            1. Specificness
            He can skip calculating certain (hardware-related) properties, because he knows them for his own board. The opposite of specificness is genericness. While genericness costs ms at boot by having to to probe for/calculate certain values that might be different among boards, it is a desirable property for images that are expected to run at a variety of different machines and that don't stop working if you replace some part with another part that has different properties.

            2. Strict control
            He mentions that the fs which he uses stores some table which is normally calculated at boot. He can skip this be reusing the table he had at shutdown. He doesn't go into detail, but I assume the table has to be changed when files are written or deleted or sth. like that. In other applications (for example desktop) you cannot necessarily assume that the table you had at the end of the last session is still valid at the beginning of the next session. For example, I might boot another system and change the fs of my main system for some reason (transfering files, fixing stuff, and so on).

            3. Narrow range of applications
            He can make the level 1 bootloader load linux and save some ms. This is not necessarily practical for Desktop or Server applications. Maybe I turn on the machine but do not want to boot my main system for some reason. To be able to boot another system I need 1. enough time to press some key that indicates, that I want to interrupt the boot process and do something else than the default configuration, 2. a sufficiently sophisticated system like classical BIOS or UEFI (that provides an interface to make those selections) that is (always) loaded between the first stage of boot and the OS.

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            • #7
              Thats pretty fast.
              Not that i boot my machines that ofte though.

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              • #8
                Booting in 1 second is not fast and booting in 20 seconds is not slow either. I just want my Linux machine to boot visually faster than the Windows and Mac OS machines around me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dxxvi View Post
                  Booting in 1 second is not fast and booting in 20 seconds is not slow either. I just want my Linux machine to boot visually faster than the Windows and Mac OS machines around me.
                  Well, the majority of linux applications are not desktop applications and the linked presentation gives some examples for applications that require very low boot times. For many applications 20 seconds is a disaster and 1 second is just acceptable.

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                  • #10
                    3-second (to desktop) OS boots are pretty common when using SSDs. The main time drain is the firmware (11 seconds for me!) and idling bootloader.

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