Linux Boot Time

This is one of the few things that worries me about acceptance of Linux. 30 seconds. That’s the average boot time of Linux on my fastest machine – an HP Pavilion zv6000. This, mind you, is with InitNG, a brand new concurrent-threading system that excels at what it does – run several things in tandem when the kernel is booted – but does poorly at what it advertises – makes boot times faster by an extraordinary amount.

I know what people looove saying because I’ve heard it before: Linux boot time is not an issue. Linux doesn’t need to boot. Don’t worry about it. And I’m saying, yes, I’m worrying about it, because I have a laptop that doesn’t adequately understand how to hibernate, so I have to boot it every time, and every time it takes 30 seconds. My Windows XP machine takes less time to boot. And that’s depressing.

There may be hope, but damned if I can understand it. The LinuxBIOS project aims at replacing vendor-based BIOSes with a Linux kernel, making startup for cluster nodes and the like faster and easier to maintain. I’ve read over the FAQ several times now and still don’t understand if this has any benefits for consumer-grade systems. Could the BIOS immediately boot the Linux kernel of my distribution? How much faster would it be? Until anyone provides those answers, I’m going to be highly pessimistic about the use of LinuxBIOS for end-users like me.

So what can be done? Cursory glances over the Gentoo forums suggest that the only way to speed up boot time isto not run non-critical services. Problem is, all my services are critical. That’s why I run them. I’m doing LAMP development on my laptop, I need Apache, MySQL, so on, so forth, running when I start. The only time I stop running these services is if I need to rely on my battery surviving more than a half an hour.

So how is it going to be? Is Linux boot going to be stuck in this era?

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