Thursday, September 22, 2005

Streamlining the debian/linux boot

As my ever continuing project is to build a media box running debian and Freevo. As of now, it can play movies, music and show images. The only big step left is to minimize the boot time for linux. For a media box that only purpose is to show movies, it must start very quickly. I need to get the boot time down to at most 30 seconds. Now it takes approx 90 seconds to boot from the grub menu. That is way to long time, so I need a few tools to get it even shorter.

I found a nice application that can show me the boot flow as a chart. This debian package can be installed from the unstable package set.

The first time I use it, I could see that it took 80 seconds to boot, and that it was the 'udev' module that took some of its time. As can be seen here. Nice graph, but what do I do with it?

Continuing searching I found another init module for linux, that promised a very faster boot time. Its called initng. Installing the package from the experiment package set, and running bootchart with it; seemed to give a much better boot time. As can be seen here. According to bootchart it would only take 14 seconds, if it only was true. USing a stoptimer, the boot takes 67 seconds. Where did those extra seconds come from? I have no clue.