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Author Topic: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?  (Read 10366 times)

Offline paulfxh

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Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« on: January 24, 2009, 03:56:41 PM »
I have 7 OSes on my Asus EeePC 901 (4GB SSD+16GB SSD, 1GB RAM, Atom 1.6 GHz).
Over the last week or so I've been configuring TC 1.0 on this machine and it's now performing very well.
Here's a table showing the time to boot (from Grub menu to completely usable Desktop) and the space taken up on the HD for each OS:
Code: [Select]
OS           Boot time (s)         Disk space (MB)
Haiku            12                         313
Senryu          12                         629
Puppy            25                         1100
Xandros        27                         3600
DSL 4.1.2       40                         325
TC (frugal)     70                          78
Ubuntu 8.04   84                         6300
The dominant part of the TC boot time is the >50 seconds spent loading extensions and backup restoration.
This is by no means a completely scientific study and is just meant to provide a rough indication.
However, I'm surprised by how slow TC booting seems. Am I perhaps overlooking something that might speed things up?

Offline Jason W

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 04:22:50 PM »
The size of your backup and the number and size of the extensions that are being loaded are a major factor to the boot time of TC.  Without backup or extensions, or when using PPI mode, TC boots very fast.  One trick I used earlier is making one large tcz out of the extensions in my tce directory and I recall it speeding up things at boot.

Offline Jason W

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 04:56:09 PM »
Confirmed, my 60MB worth of extensions (including compiletc, perl_xml) loads in 30 seconds from the start of the first extension being loaded to the last.  The same extensions put in one large tcz loads in 13 seconds.   Simplest way to try this trick is to untar your tce's into a directory and make a tcz of that directory.  Tce-load takes into account multiple menu entries in a tcz so the menus get loaded ok.  A custom user.tar.gz may have to be created depending on which extensions are involved.  This may be of interest for those who want the fastest possible boot time.

Offline paulfxh

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 05:11:57 PM »
Thanks for those comments.
Although  getting a faster boot time in TC is by no means crucial for me, I'm interested to try your "trick" basically to learn some more about this OS.
However, as I'm a complete TC newbie when you say something like
Quote
A custom user.tar.gz may have to be created depending on which extensions are involved
that went over my head, I get a little worried.
Any chance of a simple how-to?

Offline Jason W

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 05:26:20 PM »
First, combining tce's or tcz's is only good if there are no plans to install further tce/tcz's from the menu since all the extensions in the collection are not registered as installed.  Using the appbrowser will install extensions and their dependencies that are really already installed.  That will not normally cause problems, but it is a duplication of installation. 

To do this, download the extensions you want to combine in a directory.  Then make a directory inside that directory named "pkg" or something else.  Combine the extensions:

# tar xzvf extension.tce -C pkg
# tar xzvf extension2.tce -C pkg

Until they are all untarred in pkg.  Then make a tcz of the pkg directory, using the l or m suffix if needed depending on the extensions used:

# mkfs.cramfs pkg bigextension.tczlm

That will basically create one large extension out of many regular ones.  There are only a handful of extensions that need a user.tar.gz, and loading the individual extensions in tcz form and looking in /tmp/tcloop will tell which ones and what needs to be in there. 

Offline roberts

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 07:24:39 PM »
I would venture to guess that you are comparing TC to  traditionally  hard drive installed systems.

You don't state which of many modes of operation that you are using (see Getting Started).
TC's design goal is to be nomadic and not a traditionally installed OS. 

Not only are these other modes of operation available but many other "tuning options" including.

1. Using the optional/ directory
2. PPI mode, i.e., tclocal,( persistent /usr/local/) where all extensions are "installed" and not loading upon each boot.
3. Persistent /home.
4. Persistent /opt

Any combination of the above, as well as combining extension into a personal "collection" as per Jason's post.
I had been suggesting that we offer "collections" but that would mean even more effort to update.

If you wish  booting to a pristine state, being nomadic is not important, you can use any combination of the above to completely eliminate the backup/restore requirement and loading upon boot.

You can, as some have already, perform a "traditional hard drive installation".

So really, to be fair, TC should be listed at a minimum of 5 times showing boot times for all the capabilities and choices that TC supports and allows.
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Offline Jason W

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2009, 07:36:40 AM »
A good method of running TC to achieve quick boot times would be PPI with persistent home.  I shouldn't be recommending experimenting with unsupported modes like combining extensions as it can create problems.  Breaking the extension system and dependency logic is not worth shaving a few seconds off boot time.


Offline paulfxh

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 03:21:47 PM »
Thank you for the replies.
Right now, I'm using the PPR/TCE operating mode in TC 1.0.
From your comments, and having read again the Getting Started page, it seems that the fastest boot times are likely with the PPI/TCE mode.
Right now, I have a folder called "tce" in /mnt/hdd7 and I use a bootcode on the kernel line of "tce=hdd7".
Can I assume that I can switch this to the PPI/TCE mode simply by replacing the "tce=hdd7" bootcode with "tclocal=hdd7" and by creating another folder on /mnt/hdd7 called "tclocal" to which I will transfer all my tce extensions?
Just for information, the java.tce takes about 20 seconds to load on my EeePC 901. Everything else is considerably faster to load although opera.tce, compiletc.tce and linux-headers-2.6.26.tce each take around 10 seconds to load. So just these four extensions account for more than half of the loading time of the total of 24 extensions.

Offline ^thehatsrule^

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 10:29:14 PM »
iirc there was a mistake spotted, and that the actual bootcode should be "local=".  Also, I think that since you already were using tce=, you might be able to quickly set up tclocal by using "tce= local=" after creating the tclocal dir once and then use "local=" on subsequent boots.

Note that some things outside of /usr/local may have to be manually backed/restored, or it may be easier to remain as extensions.  For example, I think compiletc is mostly not in /usr/local, so that should be left as an extension.  Although, if you typically don't use the dev tools, loading it only when needed may be better?

Offline cjgau

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 06:26:06 PM »
Hi Paul, Just for reference, I've been using/playing PPI/TCE --- SD card on Asus901, IDE-CF on miniITX (John's toy), and CD on Dell 4550; the TC's booting is much faster than DSL 4.4.2

As to Haiku and Senryu, do you run them by VMplayer? or HD installed?

Offline paulfxh

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 07:03:46 PM »
OK, I seem to have PPI/TCE mode working OK now. Boot time is down to 38 seconds although there is now a noticeable lag in launching apps like Opera.
One strange thing is that neither wifi nor my wired connection autostart any more. To get wifi to start at boot I had to restore these three lines
Code: [Select]
cd /home/tc
cp rt2860sta.ko.gz /lib/modules/2.6.26-tinycore/kernel/drivers/net/
depmod -a
that I was able to take out before as described in this thread.
I'm sure I'll be able to figure this out tomorrow but if anybody knows, feel free to post  ;)

@cjgau
Quote
As to Haiku and Senryu, do you run them by VMplayer? or HD installed?

All of my OSes are HD installed. Haiku and Senryu work very many times faster when natively installed in comparison to the VM performance.

Offline roberts

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 05:52:04 AM »
OK, I seem to have PPI/TCE mode working OK now. Boot time is down to 38 seconds although there is now a noticeable lag in launching apps like Opera.

Now you are changing your focus from boot time to runtime. Naturally applications that load into ram will have a longer boot time and a quicker startup runtime. On the otherhand, applicaitons 'installed' onto a drive/partition will take longer for their startup runtime.

Quote
One strange thing is that neither wifi nor my wired connection autostart any more. To get wifi to start at boot I had to restore these three lines
Code: [Select]
cd /home/tc
cp rt2860sta.ko.gz /lib/modules/2.6.26-tinycore/kernel/drivers/net/
depmod -a
that I was able to take out before as described in this thread.
I'm sure I'll be able to figure this out tomorrow but if anybody knows, feel free to post  ;)

hats already posted
Quote
Note that some things outside of /usr/local may have to be manually backed/restored, or it may be easier to remain as extensions.

Your newly made tce is outside of /usr/local therefore keep it as a tce, or add files to your .filetool.lst, eg the /lib/modules/2.6.26-tinycore/kernel/drivers/net/rt2860sta.ko.gz and the module dep files.


Quote

@cjgau
Quote
As to Haiku and Senryu, do you run them by VMplayer? or HD installed?

All of my OSes are HD installed. Haiku and Senryu work very many times faster when natively installed in comparison to the VM performance.

As I suspected. If you are inclined to want to benchmark, then perhaps you should have a level playing field and install TC traditionally. Most OS offer only traditional hard drive installations. TC offers many choices and is a tool. Based your choices your boot times vs startup runtimes will vary, even in a PPR/TCE using the optional/ directory for things like the toolchain compile.tce will make a better experience.

With choices comes decisions.
10+ Years Contributing to Linux Open Source Projects.

Offline ^thehatsrule^

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Re: Boot times of various OSes on EeePC 901. How does TC stack up?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2009, 10:52:08 AM »
For kernel modules, you can copy them to /usr/local/lib/modules/2.6.26-tinycore/kernel/