Thursday, March 04, 2010

18 Second Boot

I have been working in between things on the hp 4410t thin client laptop based on ideas from some of users and IT staff. One thing that was important to me was making it work better than our fat PCs that are used to remotely log into the City network. One part of that goal is making so that it's ready to work as quickly as possible after it's powered on. I stripped out all services not required and have gotten the machine fully booted and networked in 18 seconds. I might be able to shave off a few seconds yet, but I think it's getting pretty close to the fastest possible experience with this hardware. Not bad.



When I'm finished with everything, I'll post a flowchart showing the design flow of network connections and features. I'm working to make this as simple as possible and want to reach a goal of users just having to know to push a single button and everything is networked and ready for their login.

Items left for me tinker with: Backlight issues when moving back and forth to battery, More intelligent WiFi logic to understand whether it's in our buildings to reduce boot times, resolve issue of very buggy x-server-xorg-video-intel (2.9.1-2) on Debian squeeze/sid, remove unneeded packages to try and reclaim a bit more flash drive space and resolve some pulseaudio problems at boot time.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you using a kernel with all the no modules and only the hardware/feature support you need? You can then ditch the initramfs and that can save a few seconds too.

I think my EeePC 900 gets to a logged in GNOME desktop in 18 seconds but that's with a hacked up Ubuntu 8.04. Technically the Xandros it came with boots even faster...

Corsac said...

Not sure if you rebuild your kernel or use the standard debian ones, but the recent upload of linux-image-2.6.32-2-amd64 (2.6.32-9) seems to have fixed most bugs about intel driver.

Dave Richards said...

@anonymous: I'm probably not going to tinker that deeply into the kernel. I want to easily be able to install upgrades as they arrive. 18 isn't too bad, and I can get 1-2 more with other small changes that should be perfect.

@corsac: I'm watching for a new kernel to show up, video is really bad right now especially with 3D effects enabled. Lots of blinking.

CM said...

Just wondering - can you tell me - is there an option in the boot menu to boot from the express card slot (ie, express card ssd)?