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Intel team gives Eee 5-second boot

Intel team gives Eee 5-second boot

If you're sick of the time it takes your Eee PC to boot, check out the new research over at Intel's OSTC.

If you're looking to put a full-fat Linux distribution on your Eee PC but don't want to lose that stunningly quick boot time, help is at hand: Intel is working on a system to allow a standard Eee to boot into a Fedora desktop in just five seconds.

First reported over on LWN.net, the work has been carried out by Arjan van de Ven and Auke Kok, two Linux developers at Intel's Open Source Technology Centre. Rather than attempt to merely improve the boot time, the pair started with the that attitude that “It's not about booting faster, it's about booting in 5 seconds.

While fast-booting OSes aren't new, this latest work is impressive in that it provides a fully-finished ready-to-use desktop in the five second time limit – no cheating by giving a barely-usable GUI while the disk thrashes and loads additional services in the background. In fact, the only thing that isn't quite ready within the five second limit is the network – although the network manager daemon itself is loaded and ready, it takes a few seconds longer for the system to do its magic in the background to negotiate a link.

The boot speed is an incredible improvement on the out-of-the-box 45-second boot time Fedora users will normally experience, and brings the diminutive Eee PC closer to an instant-on PDA-style device. While a boot time of almost a minute precludes whipping your netbook out of your pocket in order to make a quick note to yourself, five seconds is much more feasible for this kind of usage.

The work – which included the removal of non-essential daemons and systems which duplicated functionality already present elsewhere in the boot process, along with a modified version of the Fedora Readahead patch which allows for simultaneous, rather than sequential, loading – isn't going to be kept as an Intel specific tool, either: the team has announced that the code will be provided to the Moblin mobile Linux development community, meaning it's quite likely to be improving the next generation of netbooks and mobile internet devices.

Fancy having a play with the technology to pare down the boot time of your own ultra-portable, or is a forty-five second boot time really nothing to be getting worked up about? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
airchie 13th October 2008, 14:03 Quote
This is totally going on my eee ASAP.
Would using this in conjunction with one of the bigger and faster SSD add-in cards for the eee make it even faster?
Mo_ 13th October 2008, 14:14 Quote
they should add it to the new touchscreen version (could not resist) - http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2008/10/10-13-08-asus_eee_all-in-on.jpg its @ play.com for £399.99 Free Delivery
airchie 13th October 2008, 14:24 Quote
They maybe would have if it wasn't running XP... :D
If they did a reduced-cost linux one then it would be cool!
You could mount them on your walls at home and pretent you were on the Enterprise... :D
sotu1 13th October 2008, 15:16 Quote
that's amazing. can this be applied to any eee?
Jordan Wise 13th October 2008, 15:28 Quote
Why do so many articles mention 'whipping the netbook out of your pocket?" Am I the only person who doesn't wear clown pants?
p3n 13th October 2008, 16:00 Quote
Bags have pockets? :P
E.E.L. Ambiense 13th October 2008, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Wise
Why do so many articles mention 'whipping the netbook out of your pocket?" Am I the only person who doesn't wear clown pants?

:) Good stuff.
jhanlon303 13th October 2008, 16:38 Quote
I just got 2 900 eeePCs yesterday. Still reading up on all it can do. Langer's mods a great start. Now this OS should go on one of them.
ShaqArif 13th October 2008, 17:49 Quote
Don't have a problem with the boot time myself. With the battery on the eee901, I can leave my eee on sleep overnight with no more than a 10-15 min drop in battery life. Waking up from sleep takes about a second. With the stability of linux, I don't often reboot more than a fortnight, so trying to save 40 seconds from that seems like a bit of a false economy.
Firehed 13th October 2008, 19:08 Quote
Sounds very promising, though given that resuming from standby is still faster and doesn't cause the inconvenience of having to close out everything, I'm not sure it's really that big of an issue. Sure, you get the extra battery life, but that's not usually enough of a gain that I'm honestly concerned.

Not that I own an eee so it doesn't matter, but I'm tempted. Mostly out of feeling the need for a new gadget or something, but even just as a web browsing system I think I'd be tremendously bothered by not having my random assortment of OS X apps that I use continually (hoping for an Apple netbook tomorrow, but certainly not holding my breath).

Still, I approve of any tech that speeds boot times.
Haltech 13th October 2008, 21:48 Quote
"the pair started with the that attitude that "

Try reading that out loud
CowBlazed 13th October 2008, 22:32 Quote
Sounds fine to me.

With all the quick boot options on which skips POST and such, my EEE1000H with WinXP boots up mighty quickly, about 20secs or so fully usable.
tuaamin13 13th October 2008, 22:50 Quote
Any chance Intel is going to release their modified distro for those of us who want to boot in 5 seconds but don't feel comfortable modifying the kernel?
Spaceraver 14th October 2008, 04:45 Quote
Now Microsoft just needs to listen to those guys. And make Windows 7 boot the same way.
Xir 14th October 2008, 08:24 Quote
What are the "Langer's mods" for the EEE?
Impossible 14th October 2008, 10:02 Quote
Xir 14th October 2008, 12:39 Quote
Thx...looked into some eee-sites, but didn't search Bit for "Langer" ;-)
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