Saturday, June 17, 2006


Bootchart vs Stopwatch (SoC2006)

Today I did some serious polishing of the first deliverable of the boot process project and made it available here. One of the things added were some hotspots ordered by how promising they are. The final version of the deliverable will be ready tomorrow evening.

One question that I had today was about the relationship between Debian's update-rc.d and Fedora's chkconfig command. Both of them seem to arrange the order of execution of the init scripts. The other question was about the acceptance of file-rc and it seems that, at least for debian, it is used quite seldom (1).

Finally, as a result from Petter Reinholdtsen's feedback to the previously published bootcharts of woody, sarge and etch, I compared the bootcharts time using a stopwatch. Petter considered that the times were too small and it looked like KDE autologin time was too short. The time results (in seconds) for Sarge and Etch are:

Sarge 0:44 (bootchart) and 1:06 (stopwatch). Difference = 0:22
Etch 0:34 (bootchart) and 0:49 (stopwatch). Difference = 0:15

Big difference. The stopwatch was activated when the key ENTER is pressed at the GRUB selection screen and stopped until the KDE in-progress window disappeared.It should be noticed that bootchart doesn't account for the time of initrd.

Besides, from the time that the message of starting kdm appears until the KDE stops loading there is an important time difference:

Sarge ~0:06 (bootchart) and 0:23.5 (stopwatch). Difference=0:17.5
Etch ~0:05.5 (bootchart) and 0:19 (stopwatch). Difference=13.5

Then, most of the time difference seems to be because of bootchart stopping to count the time before the KDE stops loading.

Just as a final remark, the PC time from pressing the ON botton to the grub is around 11.5 second. Then the total startup times of Sarge and Etch end up being as big as 1:17.5 and 1:00.5, respectively. Both above one minute.


You forgot to take a look at the system that Open Solaris is using for startup, SMF (Service Management Facility), which provides a little bit more than just starting services. I think is worth looking at.

I've noted a certain reluctance in some sysadmin circles about new bootscripts schemes.

I think this is a shame personally as a lot can be done to improve the sysV scheme but it does have simplicity in its favour.

Have you considered a standardised way of documenting the dependencies between the bootscripts.
Then different engines and policies can be installed and configured locally . Also this can maintain backward compatibility as a scirpt can still be run in strict sys-V order if no dependencies are defined for it.
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