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Reducing Boot Time On a General Linux Distro

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the replace-the-disembarculator dept.

Operating Systems 354

Linzer writes "In this blog entry, Fred Crozat (head of Mandriva's engineering team in France) explains in great detail how his team has been detecting and getting rid of bottlenecks in the boot process, from the early stages to loading the desktop environment, thus decreasing overall boot time. An informative tour of the nuts and bolts of the boot process and how they can be tinkered with: initrd, initscripts, udev, modprobe calls. The basic tool they use for performance analysis is bootchart, which produces a map of process information and resource utilization during boot. The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type her password."

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Interesting but how useful, really? (4, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205223)

I can see optimizing this for the sake of the geeky goodness of it and all that but, really, how often does someone reboot a Linux box, that this even enters into it? Maybe I'm unusual but mine usually stay up until there's a new version of my distro of choice to upgrade to. Time to boot just doesn't impact me very much.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (5, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205265)

Some people power down their computers at night.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205449)

My USB ports fail after being idle for too long (on my desktop). Since I have a USB mouse, I have to reboot. Yes, it's a Linux/Ubuntu problem (no problem in Windows, but I usually use Linux), and yes, I'm sure it can be fixed, I just haven't had tinker time in a while.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205683)

I used to have that problem. Drove me bananas. The problem wasn't fixed until I got a new computer. I did find a slightly better solution than rebooting, though. I used to keep a CLI window up. If the mouse failed, I'd unload the USBHID kernel modules, then reload them. I don't remember which modules in specific, but it did provide relief without rebooting.

Unfortunately, this was a fairly common issue with the Linux kernel. There was little interest in fixing it at the time, so you may just need new hardware. (It's possible that the issue was ignored because it was caused by poor USB implementations. Which would hopefully mean that newer hardware is unaffected.)

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (2, Informative)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205907)

the cheapest solution is a $10 usb 2.0 controller. http://www1.pricewatch.com/public/info2.aspx?i=44&z=2988&ro=2&aid=32983822&u=http%3A%2F%2F3btech.net%2Fadaufopousb2.html [pricewatch.com]

since the motherboards usb is buggy, this $10 fix will solve the problem.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (5, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205459)

Some people power down their computers at night.

How can they sleep without the soothing fan noise?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (5, Funny)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205699)

I have fanless computers, you insensitive clod!

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206653)

An Apple Cube?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206043)

My computer stays on, in the living room. My bedroom contains exactly three things that use electricity. The alarm clock, the waterbed heater, and the ceiling fan/light fixture.

Some people power down their computers at night.

How can they sleep without the soothing fan noise?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (5, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206277)

My bedroom contains exactly three things that use electricity. The alarm clock, the waterbed heater, and the ceiling fan/light fixture.

So, what the wife uses is ... battery-powered?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (3, Funny)

michrech (468134) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206401)

There is no wife/girlfriend, thankyouverymuch.

for the energy cost/environmentally conscious.. (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205863)

Why not simply use sleep or hibernation (bind i to the power button)? All modern hardware/OSes support it. No need to load all drivers and background apps every single time. Actually hibernation saves time and energy due to shorter boot times.

Just be sure not to use crappy software/hardware that doesn't support it.

ACPI whitelist? (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205971)

Just be sure not to use crappy software/hardware that doesn't support [sleep].

And pay multiple times over for return shipping when I find that one or more components of my computer don't come out of sleep properly. Or do you know of a good whitelist of makes and models of commodity PC hardware that have the fewest defects in their ACPI implementation?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (4, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206083)

Some people power down their computers at night.

If their default linux setup doesn't complete boot-up before their finish their morning piss they have a problem that no guide will fix :-)

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205281)

I know many who turn off their computer when they are done using it. I also have yet to get sleep/hibernate to work reliably. It will work 3-4 times, then it won't come back on. I've tried both on ubuntu and slackware. Having the computer twiddling its thumbs is using energy, however small compared to just turning it off.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205331)

Yes you are unusual.
I shut down my work PC when I leave at night. I shut down my laptop when I put it back into the case.
Netbooks are also shutdown when you put them away.
Even you might shutdown your PC to save some power if it didn't take very long to power it back up.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205769)

I shut down my laptop when I put it back into the case.

Why not use s2disk?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205899)

probably habit more than anything. Plus it is a duel boot so sometimes I jump over to Windows to play FS9

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (3, Funny)

hahiss (696716) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206485)

FWIW: My laptop is dual boot, and I have both windows and ubuntu hibernating on the drive. (Shh, don't wake them.) I just select which one to boot from grub. Haven't had any problems with it since I've been doing this, about 2+ years or so.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205785)

I would definitely shut down my gaming box much more often if it took less time to power up. As it is, 2+ minutes, is just annoying. I generally want a quick fix.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206491)

I shut down my work PC when I leave at night.

I'm probably not at all typical, but I need to keep my work PC on so I can remote into it if clients call with problems after-hours. Or even if it turns out I need to call in sick, but still get at some of my files.

I shut down my laptop when I put it back into the case.

Uh, laptops have sleep mode and suspend. I can't imagine why anybody would ever shutdown a laptop unless they were going on vacation and not bringing it along. Or selling it, maybe.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205333)

I agree...

Maybe if I used a laptop it would be different.. but as it stands I only reboot my computer when I upgrade my kernel (which isn't often).

What I have noticed is distro's like Gentoo boot fast because the user starts from the ground up and adds only the services they need. A default install of Debian comes with a large number of services that your average user probably doesn't need.. and probably slow the boot process.

That's not to say Gentoo is necessarily better.. I recently decided to give Debian another try after years of using Gentoo.. and this is just one of the observations I`ve made.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205399)

I use xubuntu on my laptop (too lazy to do a proper slackware install), so I turn my computer off (or suspend it) fairly often. This seems like a nice idea for a relatively new linux user who wants faster boot time, but not aimed at the experts or the douchebags who fall asleep to the hum of their idling computer.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205973)

I use xubuntu on my laptop (too lazy to do a proper slackware install)

Funny that, I've always found getting any flavour of Ubuntu up and running a somewhat frustrating experience. However, I can get a fully usable Slackware install happening in much less than an hour. Go figure. Though more recently, I have taken a liking to Arch Linux, which has all of the nice simplicity of Slackware, but more active community maintenance of things like Gnome.

But getting back to the point, I'm coming round to switching off at night simply because I am trying to do my bit to use less power, since my desktop machine uses lots and lots of it. My laptop (which is a Mac anyway, so is more or less irrelevant to the discussion) just gets put to sleep.

What might prove to be of interest later on, though, is how much change I see in hardware lifespan. I come from a long-held view that the best way to keep components running is to keep them running (I have worked with computers since the '70s), so if I notice a sudden plethora of hardware failures, I might consider going back to leaving stuff powered up.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25206339)

3 Arch Linux. its my favorite distro any day of the week... Oddly enough - I also find i can get full xorg working with proper video drivers and all my favorite apps quicker than I can polish out a flavor of ubuntu to cooperate.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205457)

So you are proud of wasting power?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205835)

I'm curing cancer [stanford.edu] !

But in all seriousness.. my desktop also acts as a small web server. Not enough traffic to justify a separate box.. but enough that it can`t be down for several hours every day. Additionally I use my computer so frequently (yes I`m a true geek... if I get up in the middle of the night I`ll often check email/see whats happening on IRC.. and I tend to shell in from work frequently) that it just doesn't make sense to shut the thing down.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205969)

dditionally I use my computer so frequently (yes I`m a true geek... if I get up in the middle of the night I`ll often check email/see whats happening on IRC.. and I tend to shell in from work frequently)

And wouldn't that be exactly the point in reducing boot times? I shut down at night, but would be shut down more often if I could have my PC up and available in under ten seconds.

And P.S. getting on to check your email in the middle of the night isn't the sign of a true geek. It is borderline obsessive :).

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205347)

Actually a lot if you use it as a desktop OS..
(Hopefully) not a lot when using it as a server.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

djchristensen (472087) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205367)

I shut my laptop down just about every night and reboot it the next day. Boot time really isn't that bad in Ubunutu 7.10, certainly in comparison to Windows (XP or Vista), but it would be nice if it were even faster. My desktop at work, on the other hand, is like yours--it stays up until I upgrade the distro (or sometimes if I'm not too busy at work, I'll let it upgrade the kernel and reboot).

Either way, speeding up the boot process can't hurt, even if only 5% of users end up caring, so let these guys have their fun and applaud them for it. I do.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (5, Insightful)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205383)

You should REALLY turn off your pc when you're not using it. Saving 30 seconds for whole hours of needless power consumption is irresponsible for the environment. Tree-hugging aside, just because you don't need to do it, it's very important for people who do need to turn off their computers, such as those who use laptops.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (3, Insightful)

stevey (64018) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205563)

That makes sense, but there is using a PC and using a PC.

My main desktop machine I leave on 24x7. I might not be logged into it, but it is used to create off-site backups of some remote servers.

So while it isn't being used by me directly, it has a job to do during the nights it is left running.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205783)

I know we can set our computers to turn on at a specified time and have the backup software turn off after it has finished. This tends to work well in an office, from 10pm to 4am, every 10 minutes a computer will turn itself on, run the backup, then turn itself off. Kinda nifty.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205573)

You should REALLY turn off your pc when you're not using it. Saving 30 seconds for whole hours of needless power consumption is irresponsible for the environment.

Has no one here heard of hibernate or sleep?

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205955)

I'm sure they have, I'm sure some of them have tried it, and I'm also more than certain that only a small portion of those people got it to work correctly - which means that all services, networks, wireless, etc, are restored correctly upon waking up.

Unless they were using Macs, where I'm sure that 95%+ of such people have never had problems with sleep or hibernate working correctly.

Broken ACPI (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206101)

Has no one here heard of hibernate or sleep?

It appears Acer's testers haven't. My cousin tells me his Acer Aspire One subnotebook running Windows XP Home comes out of sleep with some hardware not properly awake.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

tmalone (534172) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206667)

I would except in Vista it takes a couple minutes to go into and out of hibernate. Booting is actually must faster. I think this is because I have 4 gigs of ram. My wife's laptop with only 2 gigs is much faster at hibernating. Linux used to be quite quick in the hibernation department, but I've been testing out Ubuntu Intrepid and hibernate stopped working correctly for me.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205595)

But night time is when the backups run! Not to mention all of those system maintenance scripts.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

bgillespie (1228056) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205767)

Does anyone else have Folding@Home or another distributed computing project running on their machine? It's not wasted power if the cycles are being donated... TO SCIENCE!!!

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206267)

As much as I would love to tree-hug, I'm also hugging a different kind of tree to better the environment by running Boinc (rosetta@home/foldit@home).

So, by leaving my computer on, I am helping.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206531)

The more environmentalists tell me what the do, the more I do the opposite just out of spite. :P

More seriously, though, my backup software (Mozy.com) runs overnight. If I turned off my PC, it'd never get backed-up. Plus Folder Sync requires both computers to be on to get synched correctly, so my laptop wouldn't get synced if my desktop was turned off.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (3, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205421)

Fast boot laptops would be a nice feature. On the server side look at Sun's SMF of Solaris 10. It boots many services in parallel. Not only does this decrease boot time but SMF knows the depencies of all services. This is useful when troubleshooting a failed service. I'd like to see this in Linux.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (4, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205477)

Yes! We will call it... Upstart! Oh wait.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (2, Interesting)

theCoder (23772) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206125)

Gentoo's init system is like this (and has been for quite a while). It doesn't do stuff in parallel by default, but I think there is an option to enable that.

I think I remember hearing something about Ubuntu and/or Debian also trying to create something like that, as well.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Aeolien (939711) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205485)

Or have a laptop that can't hibernate.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205807)

Agreed with this one. My laptop* won't hibernate, and sleep mode still uses some power (plus keeping the old non-switched transformer going). So I usually shut down. Anything that would make it come up quicker would be a bonus. Disabling all unnecessary services, like Bluetooth, was helpful.

*IBM T30

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205723)

Sure, if you are using it as a server, boot up time is trivial, but if you want to run it on a desktop or a laptop (although better support for sleep and hibernate would be even better), boot-up time is key. Considering the Windoze has been taking longer and longer to boot, this would be a good competitive advantage and if combined with other improvements, might help convince folks to try linux.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1, Flamebait)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205839)

Well then, you have been a popular boy today.

On topic, My desktop tries to run forever but occasionally a print server or driver will crash and my printer will go berserk requiring a reboot. And as 99% of linux distros are bleeding edge, apps can make the system unstable, also requiring a reboot to clear things out. Ubuntu is notorious for this. Debian stable is usually well behaved but again when put to the test, modules fail and the thing needs reset to a clean slate.

In comparison, M$ often crashes fatally, whereas Linux can be salvaged gracefully.

Off topic: Your sig regarding Sarah Palin quotes. All those are just political rainbows, sunshine, and empty hollow works being blown up your ass. I live in Alaska. She has not done jack shit as Gov after 2 years besides letting the oil companies run the state and taking bribes from them under the table. As a true republican, she believes in pissing down your back and telling you it's raining liquid sunshine.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206031)

Funny, but my work XP desktop has only crashed due to a failed hard drive and my Vista laptop has not crashed at all.

But, I have seen apps crash Linux, especially if that app is X.

Oh, your little 99% comment is incorrect also.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

jadedoto (1242580) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205937)

When I carry my laptop around, I really don't like to leave it on all the time.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

BigAssRat (724675) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205939)

Some of us run it on our laptops.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Setherghd (942294) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206053)

Are you serious?

Read: laptops

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206357)

how often does someone reboot a Linux box, that this even enters into it?

I guess you don't own a Linux laptop.

Linux laptops (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206371)

I have a linux laptop that I tote with me. I generally like to power-down when moving place-to-place to reduce HD damage if I jostle it too much.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206451)

I agree with you, but for some reason that's a hugely important metric that commenter, reviewers, and Slashdot posters pay attention to when new OS releases happen. So it's important from a PR standpoint, if for no other reason-- the real news here is that anybody using Linux has any conception of things that are important from a PR standpoint.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (2, Insightful)

ogrisel (1168023) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206517)

Boot time is very important for laptops when the sleep / hibernate feature is not well supported, prone to crash or slower than the boot it-self.

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (1)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206669)

A lot of people shut down and restart regularly.

Unless your box is actually doing something useful overnight, you're wasting a lot of power leaving it switched on all the time. Never mind the tree-hugger angle, that's costing you money.

If you look at it in a logical way - how much of the time spent using a computer is spent booting - no, it's not important at all. Optimizing almost anything else is more efficient. However, people aren't logical. People tend to place more emphasis on time spent waiting for the system to boot than a lot of other bottlenecks. You can argue about the reasons for this, it's an interesting psychological debate, but the fact is that it's true. Boot speed has a big psychological effect on how fast people think a system is. So, it's a good idea to optimize it.

(I work for MDV, for those who don't know. I have a small supporting role in Fred's post, credited as 'other colleagues'. :>)

Re:Interesting but how useful, really? (2, Informative)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206673)

I dual boot. Switching from Windows(gaming/schoolwork) to Linux(software development, general use) is a common thing for me.

 

her? (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205237)

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type her password.

A female Linux user?!? You can compile and install Gentoo while waiting for that to happen. : p

Re:her? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205453)

A female Linux user?!? You can compile and install Gentoo while waiting for that to happen. : p

Hey! I thought I was a real woman (and people with your point of view were extinct by now)

--
laura.

Re:her? (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205611)

Oh, come off with the PC policing! Do you actually expect us to pretend that there is an equal distribution of males to females in the geek world of obscure Linux distros? No one's saying that there aren't ANY women into Linux, just that using the feminine pronoun is a little disconcerting in a specific area that is represented by a male to female ratio of at least 9:1.

Re:her? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205773)

Do you actually expect us to pretend that there is an equal distribution of males to females in the geek world of obscure Linux distros?

Of course not, we all know things are not so; but jokes like the above feel really bad (btw., they also do not help getting more women into *nix)

--
laura

Re:her? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25206429)

Don't be silly, the only "one" that should feel bad about it is "Linux" ;-)

IOW: if this is to be taken as a critique, of course it's a critique on Linux (system/community), not on women.

Re:her? (-1, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205779)

Whoever modded this flamebait is a deluded coward more interested in playing the role of progressive than acknowledging the reality around him.

Re:her? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206305)

Anonymous Coward is a woman?!?

Re:her? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206369)

Hey! I thought I was a real woman (and people with your point of view were extinct by now)

--
laura.

Pics or you didn't happen.

Re:her? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25206403)

Yeah, yeah, we anonymous cowards are all girls here.

--
laura2.

Re:her? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25206583)

A female Linux user?!? You can compile and install Gentoo while waiting for that to happen. : p

Speaking of Gentoo, it has the ability to parallel execution of initscripts. It's a side effect of getting rid of the /etc/rc#.d/[SK]##... nonsense. Seriously, most distros' init is like old BASIC: using numbers to determine order should be considered harmful. Use dependency analysis instead. Crib off the source for 'make' if you have to. Or crib off Gentoo; it's GPL'd, for crying out loud.

Hey! I thought I was a real woman (and people with your point of view were extinct by now)

--
laura.

Here in America, we have the Second Amendment, if you feel like hurrying along some extinctions. ^_-

Re:her? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25206625)

A female Linux user?!? You can compile and install Gentoo while waiting for that to happen. : p

Hey! I thought I was a real woman (and people with your point of view were extinct by now)

--
laura.

A/S/L???

Re:her? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206003)

Actually my wife uses Linux. So yes a Slashdot user that is married to a woman that uses Linux.

Re:her? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206039)

A female Linux user?!? You can compile and install Gentoo while waiting for that to happen. : p

My wife is a Linux user.

You insensitive clod ;-)

howto? (2, Interesting)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205335)

I see what they're getting at but not how to achieve similar gains. Anybody out there feel like putting together a slightly more practical guide?

Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205369)

...so now I need a sex change to run Linux. Sheesh!

I couldn't care less (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205393)

I am sure both Mandriva users will be very happy.

OT Grammar Nazi comment (-1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205401)

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type her password."

Has it gotten so bad that we are unable to use proper English in case we upset someone?

It *SHOULD* read:

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type their password."

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205461)

Proper English is "his password" Apparently you've forgotten too. Their is plural.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206065)

No, that would imply the user is male. his/her password is most proper.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

Parag2k3 (1136791) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205487)

For a grammar nazi, you're making quite an elementary mistake. "User" is a singular noun and needs a singular pronoun to go with it. "Their" is a plural pronoun. Using "his", "her", or "his/her" would be correct in this sentence.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25205809)

For a grammar nazi, you're making quite an elementary mistake. "User" is a singular noun and needs a singular pronoun to go with it. "Their" is a plural pronoun. Using "his", "her", or "his/her" would be correct in this sentence.

And for a grammar-nazi nazi you're making an quite an elementary mistake.

From, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/their

"Long before the use of generic he was condemned as sexist, the pronouns they, their, and them were used in educated speech and in all but the most formal writing to refer to indefinite pronouns and to singular nouns of general personal reference, probably because such nouns are often not felt to be exclusively singular: If anyone calls, tell them I'll be back at six. Everyone began looking for their books at once. Such use is not a recent development, nor is it a mark of ignorance. Shakespeare, Swift, Shelley, Scott, and Dickens, as well as many other English and American writers, have used they and its forms to refer to singular antecedents."

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

neuromanc3r (1119631) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205559)

Really? English is not my first language, so my intuition may be wrong, but since it basically replaces "the user's" (singular!), "his" or "her" make more sense to me than "their".

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (3, Interesting)

gclef (96311) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205607)

The use of "they" as a singular pronoun [wikipedia.org] is by no means universally accepted.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205753)

And from your link:

Generic they has indeterminate number:

        * There's not a man I meet but doth salute me / As if I were their well-acquainted friend â" Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Act IV, Scene 3 (1594)

(Their can be understood equally well as referring to each man considered one at a time, or to all of them collectively.)[citation needed]

In this example, *his* would have been appropriate as gender is implied in the context of the writing, whereas 'user' is generic, and NOT gender specific. Using the pronoun 'her' instead of 'his' is as sexually discriminatory as using simply 'his' has been judged to be in the past. Therefore, I submit that 'their' is appropriate as user refers to one of any number of possible users, and not a single user of specific gender.

Grammar Nazi needs to go back to Nazi Training (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205669)

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type their password."

Thanks for playing, but you're wrong:

Each student is singular -- the is instead of are proves it -- so the colloquial their (a plural) doesn't agree with the verb, and is frowned on by traditionalists. It's common enough in speech -- "A friend of mine called me." "What did they say?" -- but, although many writers have used it (see examples from Jane Austen), it often sets off alarm bells among the fussier readers of formal writing today.

The correct answer is "there is no answer". There's plenty of "right" ways that have either fallen out of favor (such as using "type one's password"), or that get repetitive and annoying ("type his' or her's password")

I suggest brushing up on your Grammar Youth Movement handbook at http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/s.html#sexist [rutgers.edu]

Re:Grammar Nazi needs to go back to Nazi Training (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206419)

Normally I'm not a grammar Nazi, but I can't help pointing out grammar mistakes in posts correcting the grammar of others.

His and her are already possessive. His' and her's are incorrect - neither contain apostrophes, and even without an apostrophe, "hers password" is incorrect.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205743)

One thing to remember when you are on /. (and the internet in general) is OVER HALF THE WORLD DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH AS A FIRST LANGUAGE. (yes, I am yelling at the few who can't seem to comprehend this)

Whose fault is it that English is not their first language?
Whose fault is it that the education system sucked?
Whose fault is it that they have a learning disability that makes them suck at grammar or spelling?
Is it bad that they are more interested in earning some cash to "feed the kids", or "spend quality time with the family" than go back to school to brush up on Grammar.

I am amazed at the high quality of the writing here considering peoples background, and the fact they are trying to whip off these messages and get back to the day job(or whatever).

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205849)

No, you are wrong. It should read:

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type his password."

The masculine pronoun is the proper default for referencing people of unknown gender. And, that is regardless what the PC people say.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

Jekler (626699) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206117)

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type the password."

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type the correct password."

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type a password."

The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type a correct password."

All of those achieve grammatical correctness while maintaining gender neutrality. I believe gender neutrality is the message the OGN (original grammar nazi) was trying to get across.

Re:OT Grammar Nazi comment (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206561)

For a Grammar Nazi you got your grammar wrong.

When the gender is not known, and the subject is singular, the correct pronoun is "his." "Their" only works if the subject is plural.

Laptops (3, Insightful)

Joe_NoOne (48818) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205493)

Well, it helps if it's installed on a laptop or on old hardware.

Also it goes to quicker recovery time in case of outages. Coming from the Solaris world before they had journaling UFS filesystem it could take hours to FSCK a large partition before the OS would come up. On a production system that is a big deal.

Prefetch (1)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205549)

Hm... prefetch, anyone?

It's not Linux that's slow (3, Interesting)

sbryant (93075) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205667)

On my systems, it's the BIOS that takes a very large chunk of the overall boot time. As far as it goes, I think the Core2 machine takes about the same amount of time to start loading the OS as the old 486 used to.

Having an x86_64 architecture is nice, but why oh why are we still lumbered with that legacy piece of you-know-what? I think I want a Mac Mini now, just because of that...!

-- Steve

Nice Try! (4, Funny)

BigAssRat (724675) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206021)

NICE try "Steve" or is it "Mr. Jobs"? Attempting to infiltrate our "Linux discussion" with your MAC hype!!

Re:It's not Linux that's slow (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206479)

Agree. Since Vista SP1 supports EFI boot now, maybe in a few years most consumer computers will switch to EFI instead of BIOS.

Meantime, I wish Coreboot (formerly LinuxBIOS) worked on more motherboards. :-(

Re:It's not Linux that's slow (0, Offtopic)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206511)

We know what?

Try again please.

Re:It's not Linux that's slow (1)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206521)

face palm, please disregard last message.

somehow reading it 3 times before posting just isn't enough sometimes...

Re:It's not Linux that's slow (3, Interesting)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206645)

Too bad coreboot [coreboot.org] doesn't run on any of my motherboards. Imagine having a busybox terminal ready to go before the LCD monitor powers up.

POST (5, Insightful)

riffraff (894) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205741)

My problem is not the linux distro coming up to a login prompt, but the server getting past all the cards prompts to get to the normal boot. What with scsi controller cards having their own bios, the system bios, and miscellaneous others, it can take longer to get past the post then to boot linux. The HP DL360 G5's we have can take almost 30 seconds just to starting booting the linux kernel.

password (2, Funny)

neaorin (982388) | more than 6 years ago | (#25205747)

"The final trick: preloading desktop environment files while waiting for the user to type her password"

My password is just the letter 'a'. Like in 'apple'. No luck for me then.

Re:password (0, Offtopic)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206033)

OT but had to reply.
My stepfather growing up wasn't too bright and would constantly blame me for him screwing up the computer and putting passwords on the login. So I set up the computer with the letter 'a' as the password to mess with him. Got reamed out so I changed it. Took off the password but left it set up to have to actually login. He still couldn't get in. Seriously, who the hell doesn't try the enter button as the first attempt to login if they don't know the password? Took his dumb ass 10 minutes before I told him just to hit the enter button. Boy was he salty...

why bother with booting? (4, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#25206409)

Why not just get hibernate to work well and do that?

There is a lot of CPU chewed in the booting process and you can only do so much to speed it up.

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