Ubuntu targets 10 second boot time for 2010 release

In an email to developers of the Linux distribution Ubuntu, Canonical's Scott James Remnant explained how they hope to achieve a 10 second boot time with Ubuntu 10.04, the version to be released in 2010, after 9.10 is released this fall.

The projected speed improvements come with changes to the kernel, such as making the X.org server, which controls the display elements in Linux, load up quicker. The boot process will divided into sections with time budgets: two seconds for Kernal and initramfs, Plumbing (drive loader), and X.org server; and four seconds for the desktop session and other services.

"This benchmark time is to a fully logged in desktop (auto-login) with an idle CPU and Disk. Deferring services is not an option unless done properly," Remnant wrote.

The reference platform that Canonical plans to use for this target is a Dell Mini 9 netbook, equipped with the typical Atom processor and an SSD hard drive. Remnant feels this is a good benchmark because it represents what he calls a "middle of the road" system and that some will be faster and slower, but the low price of the machine allows other developers around the world to purchase one to perform their own testing while helping to contribute to the goal.

"10s is a good number, especially for a generic, hardware agnostic, non-stripped down Linux distribution," Remnant wrote, "from that starting point, development teams will be able to customise and tailor Ubuntu for specific hardware - and the OEM team will be able to produce custom remixes of Ubuntu that boot even faster."

Remnant also said that a side-effect of the fast boot speed is that there will be no splash screen. He also said that the team is working to reduce the boot time in 9.10 (codenamed Karmic) but users should not expect the near instant boot they hope to hit with the next release.

Ubuntu already is known for having a quick boot time, as one user proved by back in April. He was able to install Ubuntu 9.04 RC on a system equipped with a speedy Intel SSD drive inside an IBM ThinkPad. When formatted in the ext4 file system, he was able to boot the system in 7.83 seconds. These additional speed improvement that Canonical is targeting for the upcoming Ubunutu release is a feature that Linux enthusiasts should be proud of.

Download: Fast Boot Presentation

Neowin member Executor89 contributed to this report.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

How do Apple's designs affect consumers?

Next Story

End of the road for Microsoft Money

66 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Faster boot times are always welcome to me! Scrap as much unnecessary crap as you can, guys! I tend to pile on a lot of programs on Windows, but when it comes to Linux, I like my machine lean and mean!

This even beats windows 7, a full fledged operating system capable to incredible boot times. I couldn't have been more greatfull.

I'll jump to Ubuntu as soon as there's a good a media player (think kmplayer and ability to bind mouse's side buttons to skip -/+ 3 seconds) and good h.264/AVC-1 codec (like coreavc for Windows, I know about coreavc for linux project but it's a stich job at best). Without these linux is useless for me and my eee PC.

Is this from the moment you press the "on" button on your pc or from the moment Ubuntu starts to load and the BIOS is already loaded?

The Karmic alpha/daily is quite nice with ext4.

I tend to multiboot so really anything under 30 seconds is wonderful.

I think 10 seconds boot time is impressible for a REAL BOOT.

Truly, "suspend" is anything but economic, "always on" is so-so, and hibernate is damn slow (and unstable) with over 2gb of ram.

It'll be interesting to see if they achieve this, a fresh install (just drivers configured/auto-login) of Ubuntu 9.04 on my laptop (T7250, 3GB RAM, 7200RPM HDD) takes roughly 40 seconds to get to a usable desktop (I'm still using ext3 at the moment though).

A 10 second boot time is hardly anything special to advertise as a feature. With todays machines, if ANY OS takes much more than that, you must be having a ton of crap loading. Oh wait, we're talking Ubuntu here. It already has a ton of crap in it!! Must be they really mean they're removing at least half of the stuff that comes preinstalled.

My Blag and Zenwalk already don't take much more than that on old 1.5 to 2ghz cpu's.

Ye braw, much nicer starting out with a cli and progressively installing packages you need. Although the whole point of ubuntu is that it's great for people who DON'T want to do that (myself, not included).

They are talking about a 10 secondes boot time with CPU and drives iddle.

Sorry but it's something special.

I have a 10 000 rpm hard disk with 2GB of ram and it takes ages for XP to boot. Vista is faster but still takes more than 10 secondes before the hard disk becomes iddle.

coth said,
how can they target for something if they are just making the pack of linux programs - the distro.

they're not just "packing" the programs, they also modify them, just like most distros.

If Mac OS X can do it, ubuntu can do it too. And windows7 is not far behind. Actually I've never checked. Maybe I should set windows to open my account automatically and time it.

A clean OSX install can barely do it. As soon as any extensions or login items are added, OSX boot time tanks (though nothing to the extent of XP/Vista).

Really impressed with 7's boot time, even with my usual work crap installed. Almost as quick as my MBP/OSX.

Kubuntu already boots up very fast for myself.

Always nice to have set out goals that get into the releases which are exciting (at least to some people anyway).

mocax said,
does the 10s boot time apply to servers too?

I would imagine that many of the improvements planned would benefit all configurations of *buntu.

And, if you run your server without X, you may already hit the 10 second mark.

mocax said,
does the 10s boot time apply to servers too?

I don't get your question. If you're constantly shutting down and rebooting a server, you're doing it wrong.

FoxieFoxie said,
What idiot would use ubuntu on his server who runs important sites?

Ubuntu has a specialized server edition. And Linux/BSD is perfectly capable of safely running a server.

tiagosilva29 said,
Ubuntu has a specialized server edition. And Linux/BSD is perfectly capable of safely running a server.


Have you seen any serious sites using Ubuntu? Everyone is on RedHat/CentOS and so do I. Not saying that it is band or anything but there are so much better solutions out there.

FoxieFoxie said,
Have you seen any serious sites using Ubuntu? Everyone is on RedHat/CentOS and so do I. Not saying that it is band or anything but there are so much better solutions out there.

Wikipedia runs on Ubuntu.

FoxieFoxie said,
It's non profit.

WTF? And that has what to do with it exactly? 400+ servers, over 680 million visitors a year? That not important?

ckempo said,
WTF? And that has what to do with it exactly? 400+ servers, over 680 million visitors a year? That not important?


Important = money making machine = owned by a company = not donations or whatever site which doesn't care about that.

FoxieFoxie said,
Important = money making machine = owned by a company = not donations or whatever site which doesn't care about that.

Important = money making machine? Really? and you also think Wikipedia is not important? Have a look at the case studies from canonical: http://www.ubuntu.com/products/casestudies.

May I ask why you think RHEL or CentOS is a better solution than Ubuntu Server or did you mean other solutions as in 'windows server'?

FoxieFoxie said,
Have you seen any serious sites using Ubuntu? Everyone is on RedHat/CentOS and so do I. Not saying that it is band or anything but there are so much better solutions out there.

HE.net runs Ubuntu. That's an extremely important backbone provider. Right?

It's like, who cares... aren't there better things they should be focusing on in development? I mean really... I have an old XP laptop that boots in 13.6 seconds, who cares...

br0adband said,
It's like, who cares... aren't there better things they should be focusing on in development? I mean really... I have an old XP laptop that boots in 13.6 seconds, who cares...

Ummm... Linux is a whole community. Other teams are working to improve the kernel. Others to improve Gnome. See where I am going?

This is a good thing. Nice to know that br0adband doesn't care, but there are many that do, and what br0adband thinks doesn't matter to them.

Keep your XP, if it makes you happy.

Cheers!

mrmckeb said,
I agree. Who cares. Really... I shut down my Windows 7 PC once a week at the most... standby is where it's at.

Ok, well you go do that.

Wow, not to troll or bash or w/e, but he does bring up a point. Very few care about their boot time if all they do is keep their PC on 24/7. If you just boot/restart after a patch once a month on Windows, or some other kernel/module update on *nix, the faster boot while nice, doesn't make much of a difference.

It's a valid opinion, no need to get all defensive, no one said your OS sucks you know?

GP007 said,
Wow, not to troll or bash or w/e, but he does bring up a point. Very few care about their boot time if all they do is keep their PC on 24/7. If you just boot/restart after a patch once a month on Windows, or some other kernel/module update on *nix, the faster boot while nice, doesn't make much of a difference.

It's a valid opinion, no need to get all defensive, no one said your OS sucks you know?


I think the point is that it's also no disadvantage, and it would give it a competitive edge over other operating systems at least in this area. While they're working on this, other teams are constantly working on improving other areas.

Jugalator said,



I think the point is that it's also no disadvantage, and it would give it a competitive edge over other operating systems at least in this area. While they're working on this, other teams are constantly working on improving other areas.


And I agree, it's nice to see. But they could've just come out and said it like you did, and it would've been the end of it, instead of falling back into what I can only call "fan protection mode".

mrmckeb said,
I agree. Who cares. Really... I shut down my Windows 7 PC once a week at the most... standby is where it's at.

and do you miss to going green?.

mrmckeb said,
I agree. Who cares. Really... I shut down my Windows 7 PC once a week at the most... standby is where it's at.

Seriously who cares, I shut down my Ubuntu PC once a year, and don't even use Standby.

GP007 said,
Wow, not to troll or bash or w/e, but he does bring up a point. Very few care about their boot time if all they do is keep their PC on 24/7.
Most people I know don't leave their home PC on 24/7 for various reasons. Also desktops only make up part of the market...theres also laptops too. If anything given that Laptops are having a harder and more prominent push towards making use of SSD's at a consumer level it is likely these users will benefit more from this than desktop users in the short term. They're also far more likely to need to be shutting down than a desktop user and a 10 second boot as opposed to a 1 minute one lets you check something quickly on the go that a longer boot may prevent you doing.

Which one would you want?

10 second Ubuntu with alternative programs that tries to mimic popular Windows programs, running selected Windows programs through slow Wine, and playing Windows games with poor driver support through slow Wine?

or

20 second Windows 7 with sweet features, and compatibility with legacy era programs and DX 11 games?

You just made me log in to reply. Seriously, the fact that you think that Linux programs are out to 'mimic' Windows programs, and tried to still rely on Windows programs via wine just shows you have not used Linux properly.

Linux was and is never a replacement for Windows. It is something completely different

Ah the trolls jump out at night. Much like the other critters that scurry around in the darkness...

A 10s boot time is a nice feat and I'll look forward to running a side version of Ubuntu.

As to the troll, keep yourself caged at night.

s3n4te said,
Which one would you want?

10 second Ubuntu with alternative programs that tries to mimic popular Windows programs, running selected Windows programs through slow Wine, and playing Windows games with poor driver support through slow Wine?

or

20 second Windows 7 with sweet features, and compatibility with legacy era programs and DX 11 games?


You also forgot Antivirus/Mallware/Spyware features with Windows 7.

jedimasterk said,


You also forgot Antivirus/Mallware/Spyware features with Windows 7.


If you still get viruses, spyware and malware on your pc, you are a retard and deserve linux or apple

Linux all the way, and if you think I'm a Linux fanboy, then hey look, I use Windows XP SP3 but you know what Linux is the future and in someday or the other you are going to use Linux...

Heres a notion s3n4te. Go and reply to the Windows threads to confess your undying love for that product. This is a Linux discussion. Why not keep it relevent to the god damn topic.

FoxieFoxie said,
If you still get viruses, spyware and malware on your pc, you are a retard and deserve linux or apple

+1

True dat

s3n4te said,
Which one would you want?

10 second Ubuntu with alternative programs that tries to mimic popular Windows programs, running selected Windows programs through slow Wine, and playing Windows games with poor driver support through slow Wine?

or

20 second Windows 7 with sweet features, and compatibility with legacy era programs and DX 11 games?


This is an ad hominem argument... :p

Nothing in this article says that Linux is better for gaming.
That's a very uncommon statement actually, even from the Linux fans themselves.

To me the choice seems to be

a) Linux user puts up with 10 second boot

or

b) Linux user puts up with longer boot.

I fail to see how Windows really comes into this? If people prefer the OS then a slightly quicker boot won't sway them likely anyway. It's still a big plus to linux (well Ubuntu) users.

Smigit said,
To me the choice seems to be

a) Linux user puts up with 10 second boot

or

b) Linux user puts up with longer boot.

I fail to see how Windows really comes into this? If people prefer the OS then a slightly quicker boot won't sway them likely anyway. It's still a big plus to linux (well Ubuntu) users.


BINGO!

Wait, this is news for Linux users and interested parties (and an interesting piece of news at that).
If your not interested in the article then don't bother reading it or replying ya damn troll, you give us windows users a bad name.

If you don't play games or needs windows programs for works there's no reason to pay for Windows.

If the only thing you do with your computer is suft the web, get mails, update your blog and talk to friends using an IM then Linux will do this just fine.

I don't understand people who are ready to rificulize themself to promote Windows and MS.

Don't get me wrong i like Windows. I'm running a full boxed retail version of Vista Home Premium. I don't even have a Linux machine at home. Lately the only time i use Linux is when i need to log in one of our servers at job (command line of course). I'm a gamer so i use Windows.

But seriously before saying stupid uninformed things about Linux try it before. It's a nice OS if you don't play games.

Some apps for it are awesome like Quanta. I really really would like to see the open source version of Quanta ported to Windows.

As long as you don't game Linux gets the job done. A girl at my job runs it and she knows **** about computer. She did not want to pay for Windows XP.

Hey, no one will complain about a faster boot. But this just reminded me... you know what other OS has a near instant boot? Windows 7 RC... yeah you have to try it. My system spends more time in the AHCI BIOS than in booting Windoze. But its more like 30s to idleness after the BIOS stuff is over.

This benchmark time is to a fully logged in desktop (auto-login) with an idle CPU and Disk.
Sweet!

Too many people look at when it shows a desktop, regardless of how much extra work (and processing) is taking up resources from potential user tasks.

I like their approach to measuring "real" boot time!