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Re: Faster login

David Zeuthen wrote:


So I had a brief look at shortening startup/login time and tried
disabling rhgb in favor of starting gdm early. It looks pretty
promising; here are some wall-clock numbers from two runs of each

                      |   gdm_early  |   rhgb+gdm   |
GRUB timeout          | 0:00 | 0:00  |  0:00 | 0:00 |
Starting udev         | 0:13 | 0:13  |  0:13 | 0:14 |
HW init done          | 0:25 | 0:25  |  0:26 | 0:26 |
rhgb visible          |  N/A |  N/A  |  0:36 | 0:35 |
gdm login visible     | 0:43 | 0:44  |  1:25 | 1:26 |
gdm login entered     | 0:52 | 0:52  |  1:31 | 1:32 |
GNOME banner visible  | 1:13 | 1:14  |  1:40 | 1:41 |
Nautilus Background   | 1:33 | 1:32  |  1:51 | 1:52 |
Panel visible         | 1:43 | 1:43  |  2:02 | 2:02 |
HD activity off       | 1:59 | 1:56  |  2:13 | 2:14 |

The milestones should be pretty self evident. This is on a stock FC3
system running on a IBM T41 1.6GHz (running on AC power), 512MB RAM
without any services manually disabled.

In addition to starting gdm early, the modifications also start up a few
services, D-BUS, HAL and NetworkManager, that is critical to the GNOME

Some random thoughts/observations:

- We get the gdm window 40 secs faster

- The 12 secs from "Starting udev" to "HW init done" can be mostly
  shaved away/run in parallel

- Kernel bootstrap time (13 secs) can probably be much shorter
  (that's what some kernel guys say anyway)

- With this hack we shave twenty secs of the booting time (e.g. from
  GRUB until you can use your PC) but booting still feels much quicker
  because of the interaction with gdm in the middle (YMMV; e.g. placebo
  effect etc.)

- rhgb+gdm spawns an X server each which is sort of stupid and unsafe
  (or so some Xorg guys tell me). This solution, per design, avoids
  doing that

- we don't get the kudzu screen nor the fsck screens or any other
  console interactions. However, IMHO, such screens are not good UI
  in the first place - we should instead have GUI replacemnts that
  possibly notifies you when you log into the desktop session (stuff
  like NetworkManager and HAL alleviates such problems for networking
  and storage devices)

- we don't get service startup notification, but, uhmm, is it really
  useful learning that the "Console Mouse Service" or "Printing Sub-
  system" have started? Instead, this stuff could just be put in gdm

- it could be interesting to make /sbin/init own a D-BUS service that
  gdm and other stuff can query and interact with. Could also be fun
  to completely replace it with something a'la the SystemServices
  prototype that Seth did last year; links


- Could be interesting to instrument the kernel with some pagefault
  counters etc. and attempt do more readahead on e.g. the GNOME libs
  (both Windows XP and Mac OS X does all that; I think we do too but
  I've been told it can be improved)

So, anyway, I think it could be interesting to discuss starting gdm
instead of rhgb. If you want to try out my crude hack, grab the file


put it in on your system as /newinit.sh, chmod a+x it and change this
line /etc/inittab


to these two lines


and you should be set to go! If it breaks you get to keep both pieces;
e.g. try this at your own risk [1].


[1] :if it doesn't work you can boot your kernel with init=/bin/sh, do a
'mount -n -o remount,rw /' and edit your /etc/inittab file to point to
the original sysinit.

You're ideas sound very promising, as I myself have a strong opinion as to how things should be, however I do not yet have the expertise to implement them myself, and other seem to think such too complicated. You're ideas however are a good step. I would just like to raise to issues.

1) I am all for removing outputs of kudzu, fsck and init.d, esp. this makes potential convertees somewhat scared to put it one way. However I would hope that just as Fedora provides a 'Details' option, a 'Show' option should be enabled to allow output from these things.

2) I am all for speeding up the system starup/login (although I have a 750 Mhz Intel and it really doesn't bother me at all), but would this optimization be a Gnome only perk? Or would this be equally or at least similiarly beneficial to kdm (KDE).


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