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Ubuntu Tips - Boot Faster (Page 3 of 4)

Run boot processes in parallel

Concurrent booting allows Ubuntu to take advantage of dual-core processors, as well as processors that hyperthread or multithread.

You can take advantage of running boot processes in parallel by editing the file /etc/init.d/rc in a text editor (with root permissions e.g. sudo gedit /etc/init.d/rc) and locating the following line:


Change the line to:


Please note that this tip should not be used for systems with single core processors. Whilst it won't affect the machine booting, you might find it actually degrades bootup time.

Reprofiling boot sequence

Ubuntu developers have done a good job in ensuring that the latest distro releases boot up at a good rate. Nevertheless there is more that you can do to quicken the process. For this tip, we will explore profiling.

One reason why systems can be slow to boot is due to excessive disk seeking. Fortunately, Linux has a mechanism called "readahead" which minimises this behavior. Profiling makes a list of all the files that are read during bootup. It then sorts the files according to how they are stored on the hard disk, saving the information into the /etc/readahead folder. Whilst Ubuntu ships with a readahead list, this is designed for the developers' own system, and is not tailored to your computer and therefore does not reflect the additional services you might want to load during bootup.

Once profiling has been completed, Ubuntu reads your personalised /etc/readahead folder the next time the system is rebooted. Consequently, files are read faster for all future restarts of the system.

To profile the system, perform the following actions:

- At the bootup menu (GRUB), select the kernel you wish to profile (You may need to hit ESC to see the boot menu)

- Press e to edit the entry

- Select the line starting with kernel (or linux). Press e again

- Add the word profile to the end of the line

- Press b to boot (or Ctrl-X)

- Let the system boot to the login screen, and wait for all disk activity to stop. The system will boot slower whilst the profiling takes place. This is normal

- Restart the system

The speed increase to the boot time is dependent on the machine and how the files were already arranged on the hard disk. Neverthless, in many cases users should see an appreciable improvement in startup times.

Whilst this is a safe procedure, we would again recommend that you make a backup of any important data on your machine before proceeding.

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Last Updated Wednesday, September 30 2009 @ 01:43 PM EDT

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