Fast-booting Linux - Portable

This is a discussion on Fast-booting Linux - Portable ; Hi, I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite ...

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Thread: Fast-booting Linux

  1. Fast-booting Linux

    Hi,

    I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they
    all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and
    with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite often, this
    isn't very suitable, so I'm even considering switching my laptop back
    to Windoze XP.

    Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly? I don't
    mind if it doesn't have a package manager, as long as it has Gnome or
    XFCE by default or easily installable, all the programs I need are
    Openoffice, an image viewer, and an IDE (that is easy to install
    anyways).

    Many thanks,

    --James Goode.

  2. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    jamesgoode staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they
    > all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and
    > with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite often, this
    > isn't very suitable


    Why are you rebooting your laptop? Suspend-to-RAM works well on a lot
    of laptops, and resuming from suspend-to-RAM takes about 5 seconds. If
    you don't know how to configure suspend-to-RAM, say something and post
    the make and model# of your laptop. If you're paranoid about battery
    life, suspend-to-disk is also available. Suspend-to-disk is generally
    much more of a pain to set up, and it takes much longer to resume since
    the kernel must read state from slow disk instead of fast RAM. But it's
    available.

    > Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly?


    Gentoo with baselayout2 will boot faster than anything, but your problem
    is not boot speed. Your problem is rebooting when it's not necessary.
    You should also use update-rc.d to turn off all the services you don't
    need, particularly "hardware detection" and any MTA that isn't ssmtp.
    (Most people do not need or want to run an MTA on a laptop.) Same deal
    with apache, since apache takes 2-3 seconds to start, and you only need
    a webserver on a laptop if you're doing web development on that laptop.

    > I don't mind if it doesn't have a package manager


    ? If a distro doesn't have a package manager, it's going to be insanely
    difficult to maintain.

    --
    There is not enough coffee in the world.
    --TimC in ASR
    My blog and resume: http://crow202.dyndns.org:8080/wordpress/
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  3. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    On Mar 28, 6:46 pm, Dances With Crows wrote:
    > jamesgoode staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    >
    > > I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they
    > > all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and
    > > with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite often, this
    > > isn't very suitable

    >
    > Why are you rebooting your laptop? Suspend-to-RAM works well on a lot
    > of laptops, and resuming from suspend-to-RAM takes about 5 seconds. If
    > you don't know how to configure suspend-to-RAM, say something and post
    > the make and model# of your laptop. If you're paranoid about battery
    > life, suspend-to-disk is also available. Suspend-to-disk is generally
    > much more of a pain to set up, and it takes much longer to resume since
    > the kernel must read state from slow disk instead of fast RAM. But it's
    > available.
    >
    > > Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly?

    >
    > Gentoo with baselayout2 will boot faster than anything, but your problem
    > is not boot speed. Your problem is rebooting when it's not necessary.
    > You should also use update-rc.d to turn off all the services you don't
    > need, particularly "hardware detection" and any MTA that isn't ssmtp.
    > (Most people do not need or want to run an MTA on a laptop.) Same deal
    > with apache, since apache takes 2-3 seconds to start, and you only need
    > a webserver on a laptop if you're doing web development on that laptop.
    >
    > > I don't mind if it doesn't have a package manager

    >
    > ? If a distro doesn't have a package manager, it's going to be insanely
    > difficult to maintain.
    >
    > --
    > There is not enough coffee in the world.
    > --TimC in ASR
    > My blog and resume:http://crow202.dyndns.org:8080/wordpress/
    > Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see


    Hi,

    Thanks for your help - I'm using a Compaq Evo N410c, which I've heard
    is a real pain when it comes to power management. I've tried to
    suspend to ram and hibernate through the 'Quit' option in the menu,
    however, the suspend option just locks the computer, and the hibernate
    option won't let me use USB or PS/2 after restoring. I'm not sure if
    this is what you mean by suspend-to-ram and suspend-to-disk, or if you
    mean something like Tux-On-Ice? I'll look into it further.

    Thanks for your help,

    --James.

  4. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    jamesgoode staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > On Mar 28, 6:46 pm, Dances With Crows wrote:
    >> jamesgoode staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    >>> I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and
    >>> they all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to
    >>> boot, and with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly
    >>> quite often, this isn't very suitable

    >> Why are you rebooting your laptop? Suspend-to-RAM works well on a
    >> lot of laptops, and resuming from suspend-to-RAM takes about 5
    >> seconds. If you don't know how to configure suspend-to-RAM, say
    >> something and post the make and model# of your laptop.

    > Thanks for your help - I'm using a Compaq Evo N410c, which I've heard
    > is a real pain when it comes to power management.


    http://www.vjet.f2s.com/linux/compaq...10c/index.html says there's
    No Problem. http://larve.net/people/hugo/2002/12/evo410 says that there
    are problems, but that page refers to really ancient stuff like XFree
    4.3, so it's less of a concern than you might think. What have you
    tried? How has it failed? Which version of the kernel are you running?
    Have you looked at http://tuxmobil.org/compaq.html and checked all the
    pages for the 410c?

    I personally had to tweak the scripts in /etc/acpi/ to get everything
    working on my IBM T42p, as closing the lid generates an ACPI event of
    type "button/lid" while opening it generates an event of type
    "processor/processor".

    >>> Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly?

    >> Gentoo with baselayout2 will boot faster than anything, but your
    >> problem is not boot speed. Your problem is rebooting when it's not
    >> necessary.

    > I've tried to suspend to ram and hibernate through the 'Quit' option
    > in the menu,


    *Which* menu? Remember, we aren't using the same WM/DE that you are.
    GNOME has some weird HAL power manager thing. What should always work
    to begin suspend-to-RAM is "echo 'mem' > /sys/power/state". Resuming
    may or may not work automagically, depending on whether you're using
    fglrx or radeon and whether you're using a framebuffer console.

    > the suspend option just locks the computer, and the hibernate option
    > won't let me use USB or PS/2 after restoring. I'm not sure if this is
    > what you mean by suspend-to-ram and suspend-to-disk


    "Hibernate" and "suspend" are less clear than S2RAM and S2disk. I have
    heard less clueful people say "hibernate" when they meant S2RAM, for
    example. Usually, doing S2disk involved the kernel freezing all
    processes, the kernel writing a flag and all state to a swap partition,
    then poweroff. Next poweron, the kernel should check the swap for that
    flag, and if the flag is there, read all state from the partition. That
    is essentially a reboot, and *should* set all hardware up properly. It
    did when I tried it, but then the T42p is full of mostly-sane hardware.

    > or if you mean something like Tux-On-Ice?


    There are multiple implementations of S2disk out there. I tried 2
    of them and found they both were a pain. Linus has complained about the
    S2disk code and what a pain it was on the kernel developers' mailing
    list before. Things are slowly improving, but you'll have to try it and
    see what you get.

    --
    For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple,
    neat, and wrong.
    My blog and resume: http://crow202.dyndns.org:8080/wordpress/
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  5. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    Dances With Crows wrote:
    > jamesgoode staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    >> On Mar 28, 6:46 pm, Dances With Crows wrote:
    >>> jamesgoode staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    >>>> I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and
    >>>> they all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to
    >>>> boot, and with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly
    >>>> quite often, this isn't very suitable
    >>> Why are you rebooting your laptop? Suspend-to-RAM works well on a
    >>> lot of laptops, and resuming from suspend-to-RAM takes about 5
    >>> seconds. If you don't know how to configure suspend-to-RAM, say
    >>> something and post the make and model# of your laptop.

    >> Thanks for your help - I'm using a Compaq Evo N410c, which I've heard
    >> is a real pain when it comes to power management.

    >
    > http://www.vjet.f2s.com/linux/compaq...10c/index.html says there's
    > No Problem. http://larve.net/people/hugo/2002/12/evo410 says that there
    > are problems, but that page refers to really ancient stuff like XFree
    > 4.3, so it's less of a concern than you might think. What have you
    > tried? How has it failed? Which version of the kernel are you running?
    > Have you looked at http://tuxmobil.org/compaq.html and checked all the
    > pages for the 410c?
    >
    > I personally had to tweak the scripts in /etc/acpi/ to get everything
    > working on my IBM T42p, as closing the lid generates an ACPI event of
    > type "button/lid" while opening it generates an event of type
    > "processor/processor".
    >
    >>>> Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly?
    >>> Gentoo with baselayout2 will boot faster than anything, but your
    >>> problem is not boot speed. Your problem is rebooting when it's not
    >>> necessary.

    >> I've tried to suspend to ram and hibernate through the 'Quit' option
    >> in the menu,

    >
    > *Which* menu? Remember, we aren't using the same WM/DE that you are.
    > GNOME has some weird HAL power manager thing. What should always work
    > to begin suspend-to-RAM is "echo 'mem' > /sys/power/state". Resuming
    > may or may not work automagically, depending on whether you're using
    > fglrx or radeon and whether you're using a framebuffer console.
    >
    >> the suspend option just locks the computer, and the hibernate option
    >> won't let me use USB or PS/2 after restoring. I'm not sure if this is
    >> what you mean by suspend-to-ram and suspend-to-disk

    >
    > "Hibernate" and "suspend" are less clear than S2RAM and S2disk. I have
    > heard less clueful people say "hibernate" when they meant S2RAM, for
    > example. Usually, doing S2disk involved the kernel freezing all
    > processes, the kernel writing a flag and all state to a swap partition,
    > then poweroff. Next poweron, the kernel should check the swap for that
    > flag, and if the flag is there, read all state from the partition. That
    > is essentially a reboot, and *should* set all hardware up properly. It
    > did when I tried it, but then the T42p is full of mostly-sane hardware.
    >
    >> or if you mean something like Tux-On-Ice?

    >
    > There are multiple implementations of S2disk out there. I tried 2
    > of them and found they both were a pain. Linus has complained about the
    > S2disk code and what a pain it was on the kernel developers' mailing
    > list before. Things are slowly improving, but you'll have to try it and
    > see what you get.
    >

    Also there's a nifty little program that's part of the suspend package
    on sourceforge called "s2ram". s2ram handles saving and restoring the
    video modes. It may work automatically for your laptop via its
    builtin list, or you can specify options (determined by
    experimentation).

    Jerry

  6. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    jamesgoode wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they
    > all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and
    > with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite often, this
    > isn't very suitable, so I'm even considering switching my laptop back
    > to Windoze XP.
    >
    > Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly? I don't
    > mind if it doesn't have a package manager, as long as it has Gnome or
    > XFCE by default or easily installable, all the programs I need are
    > Openoffice, an image viewer, and an IDE (that is easy to install
    > anyways).
    >
    > Many thanks,
    >
    > --James Goode.



    You can try using bootchart to map your bootprocesses.
    Try stripping services that start during boot. (stuff like pcmcia,
    bluetooth, etc). (sysv-rc-conf).
    And try letting certain services start after your boot process is
    completed (rc.local). Databases, Webserver, etc.

    There's a possibility to have bootscripts start in a parallel fashion.
    (/etc/init.d/rc) But beware, it may break dependencies (like HAL needing
    DBUS, you can tweak this by playing with the S numbers in your RC dir.).

    The most important thing to reduce boot times, is to understand what
    happens during the boot process.

    You can also do some general tuning, like for instance tune the EXT3
    filesystem: data-writeback, noatime settings, etc. (warning:
    data-writeback might dump you into a maintenance shell during bootup).

    As for distro recommendation... Wel, if it's only speed you're concerned
    about, and not so much user-friendliness, you can give slackware a try.

    -R-

  7. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    On Fri, 28 Mar 2008 10:44:51 -0700, jamesgoode wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they
    > all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and
    > with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite often, this
    > isn't very suitable, so I'm even considering switching my laptop back to
    > Windoze XP.
    >
    > Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly? I don't
    > mind if it doesn't have a package manager, as long as it has Gnome or
    > XFCE by default or easily installable, all the programs I need are
    > Openoffice, an image viewer, and an IDE (that is easy to install
    > anyways).


    I'm running Debian Etch on a Thinkpad 240X (P3 500MHz, 192MB RAM), and it
    boots to the login prompt in 47 seconds. There's nothing installed on
    the system that doesn't absolutely have to be there. I did the Base
    Install, first, rebooted, then used Aptitude to install exactly what else
    was needed. I use XFCE.

    Stef

  8. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    jamesgoode wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I've been using Debian and Ubuntu Linuxes for some years now, and they
    > all work well, with one exception; they all take forever to boot, and
    > with a laptop that I need to get out and use quickly quite often, this
    > isn't very suitable, so I'm even considering switching my laptop back
    > to Windoze XP.
    >
    > Could anybody recommend to me a distro which boots quickly? I don't
    > mind if it doesn't have a package manager, as long as it has Gnome or
    > XFCE by default or easily installable, all the programs I need are
    > Openoffice, an image viewer, and an IDE (that is easy to install
    > anyways).
    >
    > Many thanks,
    >
    > --James Goode.


    I've been tweaking my Ubuntu Studio install yesterday. And it's
    boot-time rivals that of a macbook pro. (Bios load and gnome login takes
    a lot of time, but the overall boot process beats the mac.)

    I'll take up gnome tuning another time.

    Things that I've done:
    - Reduced the amount of modules in my initramfs
    - Disabled checking for a resume image in my initramfs (gains about 5
    seconds, I never use hibernate anyway.)
    - Removed checkfs from the boot process.
    - Disabled a LOT of services during boot, and removed all kill scripts
    for services that do not start. (All but essential services get started
    now. I'll activate logging myself when I have crashing stuff, etc.)
    - Disabled accesstimes on my EXT3
    - Enabled Concurrent boot scripts (Messes up your bootmessages, but hey,
    USPLASH is hiding that anyway.)
    - Changed the order of services starting. (example: SSHD now gets
    started after GDM is started).
    - Reduced the number of TTY's to 2 instead of 6
    - Removed the 3 sec grub time-out
    - Removed a lot of stuff started in gnome-session
    - Enabled autologin at gdm (skips drawing the login screen).
    - Disabled some boottime HW checking (My hardware generally stays the
    same every boot).
    - Put the activation of DHCP enabled devices in rc.local instead of
    risking a timeouteing (oo.. new word) dhclient/dhcpd during my valuable
    boot time. (Sometimes I'm wired, sometimes I use Wifi, sometimes I'm
    offline). (Warning, do not put your entire networking there, because
    some services NEED a localhost).

    If you're in a situation where you're waiting for over a minute for
    booting to finish. Either disable or fix your usplash. (known issue).

    -R-



  9. Re: Fast-booting Linux

    And yes. The system is still as usable as before.

    -R-

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