Petter Reinholdtsen

Debian boots quicker and quicker
24th June 2009

I spent Monday and tuesday this week in London with a lot of the people involved in the boot system on Debian and Ubuntu, to see if we could find more ways to speed up the boot system. This was an Ubuntu funded developer gathering. It was quite productive. We also discussed the future of boot systems, and ways to handle the increasing number of boot issues introduced by the Linux kernel becoming more and more asynchronous and event base. The Ubuntu approach using udev and upstart might be a good way forward. Time will show.

Anyway, there are a few ways at the moment to speed up the boot process in Debian. All of these should be applied to get a quick boot:

These points are based on the Google summer of code work done by Carlos Villegas.

Support for makefile-style concurrency during boot was uploaded to unstable yesterday. When we tested it, we were able to cut 6 seconds from the boot sequence. It depend on very correct dependency declaration in all init.d scripts, so I expect us to find edge cases where the dependences in some scripts are slightly wrong when we start using this.

On our IRC channel for this effort, #pkg-sysvinit, a new idea was introduced by Raphael Geissert today, one that could affect the startup speed as well. Instead of starting some scripts concurrently from rcS.d/ and another set of scripts from rc2.d/, it would be possible to run a of them in the same process. A quick way to test this would be to enable insserv and run 'mv /etc/rc2.d/S* /etc/rcS.d/; insserv'. Will need to test if that work. :)

Tags: bootsystem, debian, english.

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