Ubuntu 19.10 To Boot Faster Thanks To LZ4 Compression
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 10 September 2019 at 07:00 AM EDT. 32 Comments
UBUNTU --
Ubuntu's kernel team has decided to switch to LZ4 kernel image compression beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 in order to speed-up the boot times.

After evaluating the different compression options for the kernel image, the Ubuntu developers decided to make use of LZ4 on supported architectures for the kernel image and initramfs. Even with slower rotational storage, the much faster decompression times of LZ4 should yield benefit.

Canonical's Colin Ian King wrote, " In compression size, GZIP produces the smallest compressed kernel size, followed by LZO (~16% larger) and LZ4 (~25% larger). With decompression time, LZ4 is over 7 times faster than GZIP, and LZO being ~1.25 times faster then GZIP on x86... Even with slow spinning media and a slow CPU, the longer load time of the LZ4 kernel is overcome by the far faster decompression time. As media gets faster, the load time difference between GZIP, LZ4 and LZO diminishes and the decompression time becomes the dominant speed factor with LZ4 the clear winner."
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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