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The 1-Second Linux Boot

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the unexamined-boot-is-not-worth-booting dept.

Input Devices 156

An anonymous reader writes "Less than one second Linux boot! This video shows an OMAP3530 capturing video data from a camera and rendering it to an LCD display — the video appears on the LCD display in less than a second from reset."

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156 comments

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1-Second First Post! (5, Funny)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294082)

Guess Linux is faster than Slashdot.

Pretty long video though (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294132)

For a 1 second boot, it takes a 2.5 minute video to demonstrate it.

Re:Pretty long video though (3, Funny)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295808)

Because it's in slow motion, doh

Re:1-Second First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294506)

What the hell!

I spent a week trying to get that damn 3530 to boot faster.

There better be a wiki.

Re:1-Second First Post! (1)

rjch (544288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294734)

Even the web site is quick as a flash... I got this in less than a second!

Unable to connect

Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at www.embedded-bits.co.uk.

        * The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few
                    moments.

        * If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network
                    connection.

        * If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure
                    that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

Re:1-Second First Post! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295614)

The video is a YouTube video and can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUWBkIquQaI The website in this post seems to keep cutting out...

Re:1-Second First Post! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295590)

The video is also on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUWBkIquQaI) - The website seems a bit bogged down.

I use Linux (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294096)

Posted from Linux, but surely I have failed.

Re:I use Linux (3, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294682)

That's not the same kind of POST.

The Good Ole' /. Effect... (1)

duragnulinux (1079335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294098)

... is Large and in Charge.

Nah (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295816)

Really not so much.

 

In Unrelated News... (-1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294100)

Microsoft has a new report showing MS-DOS booting in less than 1/2 a second with an average laptop...

Apple has released a similar report showing Mac OS Classic booting in 3/4 a second, but with a cooler shiny logo.

Link is dead already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294104)

Wow, their webserver sucks.

Re:Link is dead already (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294118)

Don't worry, it will be back in a second.

Re:Link is dead already (1)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294930)

Haha Made me LoL.
Will probably be back down in a sec too though.

Re:Link is dead already (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294122)

They should reboot it between requests.

Re:Link is dead already (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295006)

Way to spoil the ending of the new Zelda game.

Search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294136)

Search for MontaVista and you can likely find the video. TheRegister has it as well.

The Register also has the story. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294142)

Re:The Register also has the story. (2, Insightful)

wrmrxxx (696969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294752)

That video is 2 minutes and 27 seconds long. Long enough to boot 147 times over.

Re:The Register also has the story. (4, Informative)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294786)

I find it disturbing that you have to sit through a 2:30 minute powerpoint presentation accompanied by 1980s porn music in order to see the 1 second boot time. For those looking for just the boot time, it occurs between 1:05 and 1:06 seconds in the video.

Re:The Register also has the story. (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295486)

it occurs between 1:05 and 1:06 seconds in the video.

Which half of 1:05? I don't want to waste my time!

Re:The Register also has the story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295548)

I find it disturbing that you have to sit through a 2:30 minute powerpoint presentation accompanied by 1980s porn music in order to see the 1 second boot time. For those looking for just the boot time, it occurs between 1:05 and 1:06 seconds in the video.

So the timing is just like 1980s porn. Who knew Linux would become a star actor/actress.

Re:The Register also has the story. (1)

subsonic (173806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296230)

Yes! Here's a helpful hint to all you video uploaders: Just show what you wanna show. Lose the "intro" just cut to the chase. If you've got a one-second boot of linux, show it, then show it in slow mo or with more info if you really want to. Youtube is not your grand theater to present your in depth info (well, it could be...) Just cut to the chase, then follow up. My wasted time still has some value to me.

Who cares about this? (1)

sneilan (1416093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295472)

Most linux users have to reboot their computers about as many times as they have been laid.

Re:Who cares about this? (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296154)

14:33:25 up 26 min, 2 users, load average: 1.39, 1.04, 0.50

Re:The Register also has the story. (1)

frogboyflips (1400583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296056)

This is a different story - The register one was from last year.

Take that! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294154)

Eat that Microfags.

Re:Take that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294198)

i don't give a fuck how fast an os boots if it can't run my apps. without my apps i have no use for a computer.

my commodore 64 probably boots faster but it doesn't make it the best machine for the job.

Re:Take that! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294372)

Doesn't mean your not a fag.

Re:Take that! (0)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294402)

"You're"

Re:Take that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294712)

Ya know, trying to be all cool and insulting someone *really* doesn't work when YOU'RE not able to have a proper command of the language YOU'RE using... it just makes you look like an ass. Try again after you've gotten some education...

Ok... I'll take it (5, Informative)

Foredecker (161844) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294376)

Ok, so that is interesting, but only just... This isnt desktop Linux so Im not sure why you are saying "eat that".

The OS is DMAed directly into system memory. Ok, thats kind of spiffy. That means its been "pre-loaded" which is already located.

Let me put this in perspective. Back in the mid 90s I worked at AMD. On the ÉlanSC520 [amd.com] system on a chip (133mhz 486 class):

  • Booting of Windows CE, QNX, Psos, VXworks and other real time operating systems to a running state (like these guys) was measured in 100s of milliseconds.
  • Even better, the SC520 supported Execute in Place (XIP) - FLASH was directly conntected and had a controlerl off the CPUs cache - it was fast. This let the OS and applicatoins run right out of flash from reset - no "booting" at all. Systems could easily initialize in 10s of MS and be fully running - with graphics in a few 100ms. This included a running network stack. Pretty spiffy for the old school.
  • There was a company that was doing this with an early version of Linux back then too. Their company name started with an R - but I cannot remember the rest. I think someone bought them. This was fast too.

So, this really isnt that spectacular - cool yes, ground breaking no.

-Foredecker

Already done faster... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295498)

This is nothing really new. In fact, they boot slower on a faster processor than earlier acheivments. This is mostly an ad for MontaVista.

See http://elinux.org/Main_Page for a lot more information om bootup.

I think the record is about 200ms by Sony.

Re:Ok... I'll take it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295518)

Isn't this what Commodore Business Machines were doing back in the 70's? Will everyone ever catch up with their remarkable technology? Not only instant OS but alternative instant OS's by plugging in a new cartridge. Awesome even at 1MHZ.

direct video link plus alternative news link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294158)

One Second Boot? (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294250)

It must have been his first time.

Specialized platform... (2, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294262)

An OS optimized for a single platform being loaded uncompressed from ROM (or in this case flash) is nothing special. Heck, many of the computers of 30 years ago booted up in a second or two for the same reasons.

Re:Specialized platform... (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294364)

An OS optimized for a single platform being loaded uncompressed from ROM (or in this case flash) is nothing special.

The popular Atom-based netbooks are so similar that they're almost "a single platform", and a lot of them have flash from which one can load an uncompressed kernel (or one lightly compressed with a cheap codec like LZO).

Heck, many of the computers of 30 years ago booted up in a second or two for the same reasons.

So why do computer users let Wirth's law [wikipedia.org] overpower Moore's?

Re:Specialized platform... (4, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295208)

Yup, 1-second embedded boot is fairly is fairly nice but the summary is misleading and this is not even remotely comparable to desktop boot times. They're using an initramfs, no real filesystem, and no real distribution.

To put things into perspective, I have an OMAP3530 platform in front of me (same as TFA, funny coincidence) and a totally vanilla kernel that I compiled a few days ago boots in 2.5 seconds, not counting the long time wasted by the totally suboptimal bootloader (3-second deliberate boot delay, networking support, loading the kernel from an SD card, all that crap). That time includes mounting an ext3 filesystem from an SD card and starting to run init from it, and the kernel has built-in drivers for all onboard hardware including USB host+OTG, Ethernet, networking (ipv4 and ipv6), HDMI display output, audio, etc. Of course, booting the rest of the (real, full-blown) distro up takes a while as usual, but TFA is basically showing an embedded application that could be as simple as a single binary running from initramfs (I've actually poked a MontaVista Linux system once, and their startup was basically a single shell script - not quite SysV Init!). Remove the sd/ext3 stuff, remove useless drivers, replace the bootloader with a minimal build, use a busybox shell script + a single executable binary for the actual application, and you're probably getting close to 2-second total boot times without even beginning to optimize stuff with DMA and the like.

Re:Specialized platform... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31296050)

Or you could just get rid of that 3 second delay to get it to boot in -0.5 seconds. It will turn on before you've pressed the button!

Re:Specialized platform... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296150)

Exactly. My original Nintendo didn't take any time at all to boot up. Even all the major consoles boot up in a few seconds. When you don't have to explore the system for new hardware and you can just load a preconfigured image into memory, things go a lot faster. I think there should be ROM chips you can flash, and you only have to reflash them if you have a hardware change.

Misleading summary (5, Insightful)

cualexander (576700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294266)

This is a linux computer in a car that has very specific hardware and limited functionality. Wake me up when you can get a true desktop machine to boot in 1 second and then we can talk. This is like saying, "My toaster runs linux and it can boot instantly!" Big freaking deal.

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294278)

Hey, everyone knows toasters are the sole property of BSD!

Re:Misleading summary (1)

aldld (1663705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294296)

My pet rock runs Linux, and it boots up in exactly zero seconds!

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295004)

My Linux runs Linux and has already booted !!!

Obligatory sov-joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295288)

In Soviet Russia - Linux boots you!

Re:Misleading summary (1, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294384)

I don't see why the summary is misleading or why a desktop machine would be the only measuring stick worth considering, especially when you think of how seldomly Linux is run on the desktop.

This is like saying, "My toaster runs linux and it can boot instantly!"

What would be wrong with that?

They poured a tonne of work into making this happen. Just because they control the hardware their hard work isn't worth anything? I think it's pretty cool what they've been able to do, someone no one else in the history of Linux has ever been able to do.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296094)

They poured a tonne of work into making this happen. Just because they control the hardware their hard work isn't worth anything? I think it's pretty cool what they've been able to do, someone no one else in the history of Linux has ever been able to do.

I'm not sure this is a first, nor am I sure this took that much work. Using DMA to optimize the obvious three or four huge RAM copies during boot is hardly a tonne of work. That's more like a week of work.

Re:Misleading summary (5, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294622)

Actually it is a pretty big deal. In most embedded systems that need to be instant on, a manufacturer would likely use highly customized code with highly customized hardware. The big deal here is that a (relatively) full linux kernel and system boots in the same time as all that custom code giving a manufacturer a solid, generic, and cheap base to work from. In other words, rather than having to rely on highly customized, specific firmware for the device, a more generic linux-based system platform can be used. This makes everything cheaper and thus must more profitable. This is proof that Linux is flexible and agile enough to be used from the smallest devices all the way up the line. Same kernel-level APIs everywhere. Same tools. A tremendous advantage for embedded device makers rushing to get to market.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295026)

"My toaster runs linux and it can boot instantly!" Big freaking deal.

I think that according to the Slashdot crowd, a toaster that runs Linux IS a big freaking deal!

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295068)

This is like saying, "My toaster runs linux and it can boot instantly!"

So that's how the Cylons took over.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Gaardenzwerch (470646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295376)

This is a linux computer in a car that has very specific hardware and limited functionality.

So it's just like a Mac in fact...

Wake me up when you can get a true desktop machine to boot in 1 second and then we can talk. This is like saying, "My toaster runs linux and it can boot instantly!"

Big freaking deal.

But (4, Funny)

DuChamp Fitz (987592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294362)

does it run crysis?

Re:But (2, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294940)

It can start it.

Re:But (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296086)

No, but it does run Quake 3 at a very playable framerate (these things have a 3D accelerator in them) ;)

Sense? (1, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294430)

Apart from the “because I can”, what’s the actual point of this?

I mean restarting the computer is rather a Windows thing. Why would you reboot a Linux machine? There isn’t a new kernel that often...
If it’s a desktop, you are going to switch it on in the morning, go take a piss, enter the password, go find something to eat, and then it runs for the day. Same thing when you were away and came home.

And for anything else (e.g. laptops) there always is hibernation.
Also the trick to make shutdown actually reboot and go to hibernation, helps with doing actual reboots.

Re:Sense? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294472)

Why would you reboot a Linux machine? There isn’t a new kernel that often...

I walk to the tram stop. Its at the end of the line so the tram stops there for a while. I validate my ticket. Find a seat. Take my eeepc 701 out of its bag. I have to shut it down because hibernation uses the battery and I need that power to last all the way to work. I start to boot it up. A cafe near the tram stop has free wifi so I can check /. from there. But before ubuntu boots up the tram moves off.

So you see, if linux booted faster I could get free wifi.

Re:Sense? (2, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294590)

I have to shut it down because hibernation uses the battery and I need that power to last all the way to work.

Standby uses battery to continually refresh the memory. Hibernation dumps the memory to disk and powers down. There is no battery consumption save whatever is needed to run the clock.

Re:Sense? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294634)

I have to shut it down because hibernation uses the battery and I need that power to last all the way to work.

Standby uses battery to continually refresh the memory. Hibernation dumps the memory to disk and powers down. There is no battery consumption save whatever is needed to run the clock.

Maybe thats what it is doing then.

Re:Sense? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294802)

It always runs the clock anyways. Shutting it down doesn't change that.

Re:Sense? (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294858)

not that clock

Re:Sense? (1)

colonelquesadilla (1693356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294748)

the eeepc 701 has 512 megs of ram (many upgraded to 1gb) and 4 gb of ssd. There is rarely enough disk space available to to suspend to disk with all the space being taken up with a decent linux install and a bunch of apps and maybe some mp3s and a couple movies.

Re:Sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295184)

I have to shut it down because hibernation uses the battery and I need that power to last all the way to work.

Standby uses battery to continually refresh the memory. Hibernation dumps the memory to disk and powers down. There is no battery consumption save whatever is needed to run the clock.

No, no, no. You misinterpreted. I have a laptop as main computer at home and clearly got the meaning that GP didn't "clarify" to you sedentary masses. Even though we hibernate to save power, standby barely touches the hard drive. Remember the saying that thousands of memory accesses are equivalent to a single hard drive write?

Well, here we are, dumping the ENTIRE contents of 2GB RAM to a file on the hard drive. Even with kernel tricks to somehow link to your already-accounted-for pagefile, the process takes 30+ seconds of strong hard drive thrashing even on powerful desktops. Hibernating is so bad that laptop's API calls to hibernate at critical levels tend to die with the last bit of batt. juice before your RAM is cloned to HD.

Oh, and don't forget that this is only half of the process. Even if disk reads are cheaper (someone please confirm), the un-hibernate sequence has to read all this data back. It's a good thing that at least stand-by is usually supported by distros.

Re:Sense? (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295844)

Hibernating is so bad that laptop's API calls to hibernate at critical levels tend to die with the last bit of batt. juice before your RAM is cloned to HD.

I'm sitting across the room from a IBM T41 with a terribly abused battery that has to go into emergency hibernation more times than I've seen it intentionally shut down. My Dell E1505 has never had a problem with it either across XP/Vista/Win7.

It's certainly a trade off though, for short periods standby is certainly faster and less power intensive, but in my experience the amount of time before that power saving is outweighed by the continual power draw is actually quite short. It's also something to consider if, like me, you frequently leave your laptop plugged in with no battery. Hibernate survives a 3AM power outage, standby loses my work.

Re:Sense? (1)

Kuraz (702906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296040)

Standby uses battery to continually refresh the memory. Hibernation dumps the memory to disk and powers down. There is no battery consumption save whatever is needed to run the clock.

I have a laptop with broken battery than only runs when plugged-in and strangely, hibernation only works when i keep it plugged-in. if i hibernate, unplug, move it to another room, plug-in again then somehow it has to fully reboot again.

Re:Sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294792)

dude, you need to learn about your power modes. Hibernation flushes a copy of main memory and cpu state to the hard drive and then reloads it when you start back up. The only power consumed is the power to load/unload the drive (unless you want to get pedantic like a lot slashdotters have a knack for). Standby will use up a reduced amount of battery, that's probably what you're using. What it does is stop the hard drive, and put the hardware in a lower power mode.

Re:Sense? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295854)

the celeron used in the 701 and the 900 (i have one of the latter) have a issue with battery drain even when "fully" powered down.

Re:Sense? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294502)

Embedded systems, I suspect.

For servers and a fair few desktops, uptime is a virtue. They are rarely or never voluntarily shut down. For that reason, boot time isn't a huge issue(particuarly for servers, you are probably going to spend more time twiddling your thumbs while some RAID card spins up the drives and meditates upon infinity than you are actually booting your OS).

For laptops, suspend(ie. with RAM still live) is almost always the right thing to do(if the ACPI gods are with you and everything is likely to come out of suspend cleanly) because laptops almost always have at least a bit of power available. Only when the system is unplugged and the battery virtually dead do you need to bother hibernating to disk or shutting down. Again, boot time not a huge deal, though likely to be faster than either of the first two cases, because the hardware is more predictable and there are fewer disks to worry about.

Embedded stuff, though, particularly embedded stuff in certain consumer electronics, or in hostile, low-power environments, really needs to be able to wake up fast. When joe user turns on his digicam, he wants it to come up now, and he doesn't want it flattening its batteries keeping an image alive in RAM. When some minimalist sensor node with only a solar cell and a trickle-charged capacitor for company needs to wake up and transmit some data back to the mothership, it needs to spend as little energy as possible on booting, and as much as possible on sensing and transmitting.

Since Montavista is mostly known for embedded stuff, I assume that this is why they care.

Re:Sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294600)

I think fast boot times are essential for a laptop, though. My graphics card and a few other things don't always like hibernating, plus with enough RAM it can sometimes be rather slow (copying 4GB to or from a 5400RPM hard disk quickly is not an easy task for my laptop). That being said, the video is definitely more concerned with embedded systems. I suspect that if linux gets preinstalled on more laptops that we may see some of the same optimizations take place.

Re:Sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294996)

Security updates, dumbass.

LCD Display? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31294542)

Isn't the phrase "LCD Display(liquid crystal display display" as redundant as the phrase "hot water heater" and "atm machine"?

Re:LCD Display? (2, Funny)

colonelquesadilla (1693356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294772)

Let me check in my encyclopedia reference, I just need to find the CD disc.... oh nevermind, doesn't work in my kde desktop environment anyway, I'll just check the wikipedia...

is this new? (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294552)

Slashdot, downstairs in my house has a major ant problem. Luckily I reside upstairs. Nevertheless, once every 5 minutes or so an ant comes trotting along my desk. First I place a coin or another object in its path. This confuses the ant, causing it to run off in a different direction, but my finger is waiting. I block its path with my finger. It runs in the opposite direction, but I anticipate this. Soon the ant is encircled by pens and other barriers, and if it attempts to climb them, swift punishment is issued. The ant remains in my arena. Then I take my knife, and nimbly place the tip onto one of its legs, holding it in place, then I press down hard and chop the leg off. The ant does not run, it merely enters a craze moving all around wildly. I allow it to suffer like this for a minute or so, chopping off another leg if it appears not to be in pain. Then comes a decision. Sometimes I will wait for another ant, and place it in the arena to see what it does. Occasionally it will pick up its comrade, and run off, but this is an offense punishable by death. Other times, I will merely watch the ant until it gives up. It will stop moving all but one leg. At this point I give in and slice the ant in two, putting it out of its misery. I save the corpses in a small pile, and once I have a considerable stack, I scatter them in my arena. This is where the real fun begins.

I venture outside to my back yard and find a red ant. This is my gladiator. I return to my room and place him in among the corpses. He wanders, confused. I do not let him leave. I pound the desk near him with my fingers, scaring him. I toughen my gladiator up until another ant comes along. I place the intruder into the arena. The red ant will go after the black ant, and they engage in mortal combat. If the red ant wins, another corpse decorates my arena. If the black ant vanquishes his foe, he wins the prize of life. I carry him in my hands and bring him downstairs and place him among his comrades. If he put up a good fight, I give him a warriors welcome and feed his colony with bread. If he barely defeated the red ant, he receives no food, only the gift of life. This is how i spent my afternoons.

Re:is this new? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294708)

This is how i spent my afternoons.

An honest man at Slashdot.

I guess god will not destroy us today.

Perverting the context much, Timothy? (5, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294606)

Where's the very relevant word embedded in the Slashdot title? Even TFA's author was honest enough to include it in the original title.

Boot times (3, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294680)

I just bought a cheap digital TV that takes almost 5 seconds to boot. Sad.

Re:Boot times (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294902)

I just bought a cheap digital TV that takes almost 5 seconds to boot. Sad.

So? Many older analog televisions took up to 10 seconds to "boot", because thats how long it took to warm up the cathode ray tube.

Re:Boot times (2, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295256)

So? Many older analog televisions took up to 10 seconds to "boot", because thats how long it took to warm up the cathode ray tube.

My grandparents had an early color set that was nearly a minute. But, so what, 5 seconds, a minute, go take a pee and get a snack.

1-second embedded linux is very significant because some vendors use proprietary OS stacks because they boot faster.

Re:Boot times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295602)

Powering the filament of the cathode ray directly from mains would have booted it in a flash!

Re:Boot times (2, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294960)

I just bought a cheap digital TV that takes almost 5 seconds to boot. Sad.

Just imagine! With this you could watch almost 4 more seconds of TV at a time!

Re:Boot times (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295078)

I`m guessing Dynex...

Re:Boot times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295654)

Big Deal. I've got an old LCD TV that boots in 60 seconds... when I'm lucky.

Re:Boot times (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295822)

You should be so lucky. I have a DVD recorder that I use as an OTA TV receiver. Unfortunately it has the same video processor as the Xbox 360. If allowed to stay in standby mode it will overheat behave erratically and randomly lock up. When standby is turned off it takes 30 seconds to boot itself up. This is one of many reasons (it can't play an audio CD without crashing) why that POS is the last Panasonic product I'll ever buy.

Re:Boot times (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296074)

You should be so lucky! I've got to boot my TV blindfolded, with my bare hands, out in the snow, for 60 minutes, up a hill, while strangling a dozen chicken and whistling the tune to the Family Guy theme, etc etc.

Why not do this for desktop OSs? (4, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294962)

What I've never quite understood is why most operating systems boot every time like it's the first time. If you look at most operating systems, they run a bunch of scripts, initialize a bunch of things, thrash the hard drive with random read and/or write patterns, and end up.. at exactly the same state every time. Why not just capture that state, and restore it?

If you think about it, the only differences between typical boots are:

- The date & time
- The type of boot (hibernation or cold boot)
- Some USB type devices that may have been plugged in or unplugged
- Minor logging events ('successful boot', 'need an fsck/chkdsk', etc...)

Really, all of that work can be done in milliseconds, not minutes. Operating systems should just read the ~100MB "ready for use" image from a nice contiguous section of the disk, write it straight into memory, and then do a quick sanity check for changed hardware.

A typical desktop SATA drive can read at 50MB/sec sequentially, so this should take, what, 2 seconds at most? On a good SSD, it should be 500ms!

I have a high-end laptop with a good SSD, and it still takes 46 seconds to go form "pressed the power button" to "logged on and usable" with Windows 7, and I suspect it wouldn't be much better with Linux.

The CPU utilization of typical machine booting in a VM with a very fast disk or SSD behind it is interesting to watch. It takes several seconds of 100% CPU time to boot either Windows or Linux. If you think about it, there's no useful computation that the OS can possibly be doing before it's booted. That's 100% wasted time.

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295036)

Well, Hibernate does does that. The only problem is that it is not stable on all machines. It works once in a while on my laptop, usually not.

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (3, Interesting)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295448)

Don't know on other OSes but hibernate on Linux stores all the RAM on disk. I've got 4 GB of RAM and restoring them takes about the same time as booting (some 35-40s to login), getting through Gnome/Nautilus startup (so slow) and restarting the apps I need. The real boot time to a useful desktop is about three minutes. Hibernate is not faster than that and a shutdown is much faster than writing those 4 GB to disk. Furthermore hibernate doesn't work well on my laptop. I think it's the video driver not restoring the video card state correctly (the radeon open source driver).

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295652)

Do "echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches" before hibernating and you will be amazed. Even better, install tuxonice and select "Compressor lzo" and "ImageSizeLimit nocache" for a much improved performance. You can even play with ImageSizeLimit value, but then you are hitting tradeoff between slower hibernation (because some of the memory is being pushed to the swap) and faster resume, but with the need to unswap some data - at least until compcache works with tuxonice,

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295056)

I half agree with you. Well, you can put your computer in hibernation/sleep mode. Works for me and a lot of folks. It does exactly what you describe.

I even think that nowadays that should be the default option for "shutdown".

But you still need to shutdown or reboot from time to time. And there's no easy halfway solution there. If you had to reboot for a problem, it means the original image may already be wrong / corrupted and you need to re-do all the testing and scripts. If you had to reboot for a hardware change, or kernel change etc. Well, same thing.

But yeah, I'm all for sleeping instead of shutdown-ing being the default!

(Note: on Windows, it should sleep 3/4 of the time and reboot 1/4 of the time, just for safe measures)

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295362)

Isn't what the GP proposes exactly the right halfway solution? By always using the same debugged hibernation image to boot up the system, there is no danger of the image getting corrupted... or at least any more danger than any other part of the hard disk getting corrupted. And that would affect the normal boot procedure as badly.

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295988)

That still doesn't solve the problem of system changes. Core system program updates, new drivers, whoops, gotta make a new boot image.

I'm all for hibernation but this restore-from-image booting could only work for people who won't mind constantly making new images.

Re:Why not do this for desktop OSs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295864)

Except that hibernation still drains electricity. If you turn off your computer while it is hibernating (or it drains its battery), you loose loose the "unsaved" information, and have to reboot.

How would it know this? (2, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295958)

Typically the only reason my linux machines get rebooted is precisely because the hardware HAS changed. Or the kernel has. What other reason can there be to reboot?

And as for your assertion that linux wouldn't be any better, I get a cheap netbook with a joke SSD and it boots faster. (Aspire One ZG5)

Windows boot time is not entirely fair however, it tries to do a lot of things. People think that all a computer does is draw a desktop, but to get all that in order a lot of hardware has to be configured and this includes dealing with delays. For instance spinning up the HD's and allow them time to report. There is often even a bios setting to allow extra delay's so slower hardware has time to respond.

And 800ms of that is clock stabilization. (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294968)

Of that time, 800 ms are spent just stabilizing the clocks.

Re:And 800ms of that is clock stabilization. (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295356)

No, of 1.5 seconds. The 1-second mark is a guesstimate based on subtracting power sequencing time from the actual 1.5-second mark, approximately.

Am I the only one.... (1, Offtopic)

Neffirithion (950526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295466)

...That found it ironic that the name of the company that appears to specialize in Linux solutions has the word "Vista" in the name of the company? I mean, how old are these guys? was this planned?

Re:Am I the only one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295698)

If you even bothered to waste 2 seconds to google (hell, even run a whois on montavista.com), you'd know MontaVista has been around for almost 15 years.

It's good, but ... (2, Interesting)

DrogMan (708650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296188)

I'm not convinced it's that big a deal, although if they can sell it for £5K then good luck to them!

I build little embedded(ish) systems myself - AMD Geode boxards (ALIX) and my custom compiled kernel boots in 1.08 seconds (according to kernel output) If I didn't compile in networking and USB, I'm sure it would be under a second.

The biggest time is the boards BIOS (5 seconds), then loading the image off flash then the kernel uncompressed and boots - 1.08 seconds.

If I had more access to the board and had 4MB of flash ram as part of the memory map, then I could eliminate the long BIOS + Load times and jump into kernel on cycle 0. That's where the trick is, I guess - a fast load of the kernel into RAM, or keep it in FLASH that's part of the memory map.

After the kernel is loaded it's just userspace - I run a cut-down system, but it still takes another 15-20 seconds or so to get time, dns, networking, apache, etc. going. You're probably not doing that with an in-car device or a camera, etc.

So it's not really hard to make a kernel boot fast and possibly even launch one application - the big savings are going to be on the hardware when you can eliminate BIOS and load times, and the amount of userland you then have to load - which is the real difference between "embedded" and general purpose (e.g. desktop)

One second boot perfect for ATM machines (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296214)

This one second booting will be perfect for ATM machines, so you don't have to wait to enter your PIN number.
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