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Measuring Fedora's Boot Performance
Last month we had measured Ubuntu's boot performance via the open-source Bootchart utility and had done this on all Ubuntu releases between Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and the latest development build at the time for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. From this testing we had found the boot time to decrease with each official release and the maximum disk throughput increasing. With Fedora 9 Sulphur due out next month, we have done this same boot performance testing on the Fedora side with Core 4, Core 5, Core 6, 7, 8, and 9 Rawhide.
Unlike Ubuntu that has Bootchart available in its main repository, Fedora did not offer an RPM version of Bootchart in its repository prior to last year. From the Bootchart website though is a source RPM. The Bootchart source RPM can be built with rpmbuild --rebuild bootchart-0.9-1.src.rpm once having installed the ant and jakarta-commons-cli (available from the JPackage.org repository) dependencies -- and of course the RPM build tools. Once the resulting Bootchart RPM is installed, when rebooting the system you must select the "Bootchart Logging" option within GRUB. Once the system has booted, the Bootchart results are stored in /var/log/bootchart.tgz. By running bootchart bootchart.tgz in the same directory, the results will be parsed and an SVG image of the results will be rendered. We had described Bootchart in detail in the previous article, so check that out for more details.
We had recorded the boot results for Fedora Core 4, Fedora Core 5, Fedora Core 6, Fedora 7, Fedora 8, and Fedora 9 Rawhide from March 8. We had used the DVD installation discs for each Fedora release and had used the default package selection and settings, with the only real change being disabling Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) and installing Boot Chart. We had used the same notebook for testing that was used in our Ubuntu Boot Performance article. The hardware consisted of an Intel Pentium M 750 processor, 2GB of DDR2-533 memory, ATI mobility Radeon X300 64MB, and an 80GB IDE 5400RPM hard drive. The notebook was a Lenovo ThinkPad R52.
Fedora Core 4 "Stentz" had shipped with the Linux 2.6.11 kernel and X.Org 6.8.2, Fedora Core 5 "Bordeaux" with Linux 2.6.15 and X.Org 7.0, Fedora Core 6 "Zod" with Linux 2.6.18 and X.Org 7.1, Fedora 7 "Moonshine" with Linux 2.6.21 and X.Org 7.2, Fedora 8 "Werewolf" with Linux 2.6.23 and X.Org 7.3, and Fedora 9 Rawhide at this time ships with a Linux 2.6.25 RC kernel and X Server 1.5 development version.