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Ubuntu aims for a 10 second boot time

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Chicago (IL) – Improved boot times for operating times is a topic that comes up now and then. Ubuntu’s developer team has now set a new target, one of the most aggressive ones we are aware of, promising a 10 second startup time for Ubuntu 10.04, code-named karmic+1.

The goal was announced in a post by Canonical’s Scott James Remnant within the Ubuntu developer mailing list, referring to a “a generic, hardware agnostic,
non-stripped down Linux distribution.” Remnant said that the 10 second time may just be a starting point and that the software can be fine tuned by hardware vendors to fit specific hardware configurations, which would allow them to “match Moblin’s 5s benchmark on similar hardware.”

Ubuntu uses a Dell Mini 9 netbook as a reference platform stating that “the slow CPU and fast SSD makes this an excellent ‘middle of the road’ machine. Some people’s machines will be slower, some will be faster.” The target time will include a fully logged in desktop with an idle CPU and disk. Remnant said that the time budget will be 2 seconds for the kernel, 2 seconds for drivers and filesystem mounting, 2 seconds for the X.org server and 4 seconds for the desktop session.

Remnant said that these times “aren’t too arbitrary, but are based on what should be possible and achievable.”

We will wait for Ubuntu 10.04 and look forward to faster boot times. Especially when we look at our current Vista systems, which are slow enough to be able to prepare a quick breakfast in the morning during power-on and a ready-to-go state. My business notebook, a 2-year-old HP Pavilion model with a Turion X2 CPU, crawls in 3 minutes through the Vista boot process.

Windows 7 should be much faster. A quick test this morning shows that Win 7-64 needed 53 seconds to boot on a clean 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo system with 4 GB of memory.