Thursday, April 26, 2012

A brief note about boot speeds

Just a quick interruption to our narrative:

One of my big complaints at this point on my (as yet) brief journey into the world of Slackware was the slow boot speed. There are plenty of tutorials online about how to get your Slackware box booting faster. While it's true that you probably don't need to update your font cache or GTK icon cache at every boot up and you can get several of the init services to run in the background, all of these changes are greatly overshadowed by simply adding a line to your LILO configuration that reads:
compact
That's it.

The compact option tells LILO that your hard drive is okay to run at higher speeds. It's off by default since it causes problems for some users, but for the majority of computers, it should be fine. On my 5 year-old laptop it changed boot up time (BIOS to GDM) from "an eternity" to "way faster than I used to get under Fedora." I'll provide a precise measurement in seconds if anyone asks.

As far as I can tell, I haven't made much of a gain by commenting out the lines about updating the caches in my rc.M, as all the other previously slow initializations are running at full steam now. I'm a very happy Slacker at the moment.

Have fun!

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