Is boot speed THAT important?

So there’s a lot of talk about boot speed in the operating system arena. Windows 7 is supposedly booting much faster, we (Ubuntu) are working tirelessly to improve boot speed, and Intel has Moblin and it’s 5sec** boot. Most of this push for fast boot is by OEMs who want netbooks and laptops booting fast “like a mobile phone”. And this is the problem: Mobile phones DON’T boot. Have you ever pulled the battery from your blackberry/google phone, or hard reset your iPhone? How long did it take to boot? I’m betting it took well over a minute. Hell, my Sony Bravia takes about 8 seconds to power on..and I don’t particularly care, as long as the screen stays on and the HD picture is crisp.

So is the push for fast boot even fair? Maybe we should push for fast resume…which is what your phone does. If we do, then we (Ubuntu) are done, as resume is practically instantaneous. I’m not saying users don’t appreciate a fast boot, but once it’s under a minute…your average user won’t care (at least my friends and family don’t). They actually notice an UGLY boot more, as it conveys a message of being unstable…and so I’m glad we (Ubuntu) have made a push for cleaning up boot.

Let me be clear, I support improving boot performance, but I’m also careful not to obsess about it. Perhaps, we should focus more on creating less needs to reboot in the first place.

**EXTREMELY machine dependent.

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About Robbie

I live in the awesome city of Austin, TX and work for Canonical, sponsors of the best damn operating system in the world...Ubuntu.

Posted on October 5, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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