Still not happy with the speed of your boot in 9.10?

Well then try out the new stuff we will be pushing into Lucid by enabling the ubuntu-boot PPA.  It’s really easy, and if your system has a hard disk (not solid state drive or SSD), then you will see tremendous improvements. The updates include a new kernel and replaces sreadahead with our own homegrown, superfast ureadahead.  To install these updates, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the “Software Sources” under System->Administration.
  2. Select the “Other Software” tab.
  3. Click the “Add…” button in the lower left-hand
  4. Type “ppa:ubuntu-boot” and hit the “Add Source”
  5. Allow the system to refresh the sources
  6. Run “Update Manager” under System->Administration

That’s it!  It will install the new kernel and replace sreadahead with ureadahead.  You’ll need to reboot twice to see the benefits.  The first reboot allows ureadahead to profile your boot so it can do its magic.  If you have any issues or questions join the Launchpad Ubuntu-boot team and post to the mailing list.


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 November 9, 2009, in Ubuntu and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Installed, but no noticeable speedup. 😦

  2. My ‘/’ a RAID0 array using 2 WD Scorpio Black 2.5 7200rpm drives; my ‘/home’ and one of my Swap is on a 3.5 7200rpm drive, while my ‘/boot’ other Swap is on an old ATA133 drive.

    Hence, all spinning disks….

    I tried this change to ureadahead and my boot time went from ~26 seconds to ~34 seconds. This change stayed constant after many reboots and several powerdown/powerups..

    While I was able to switch back without issue, I am disappointed that my boot time got worse, not better.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? RAID0 issue perhaps? Thanks!

  3. Sorry for the typos, and forgot to mention:

    my RAID0 is ubuntu software RAID configured through the alternate-install method, not FakeRaid nor true hardware RAID.

    • Currently, ureadahead profiles all your partitions, while sreadahead only did your root parition. This is causing the slow down. Could you do the following:

      1) Keep sreadahead and install bootchart
      2) Reboot twice to allow for sreadahead to re-profile (bootchart install causes this)
      3) Install the ureadahead from the PPA
      4) Reboot twice to allow for ureadahead to profile
      5) Send all the .png files under /var/log/bootchart to me at

      I can have our boot expert look at them to see if there’s anything we can do around RAID to improve things.

  4. Robbie, don’t sweat RAID 0 prospective issues. Sorry for the false alarm…

    I could not get the slow times to repeat. Also, I figured out that I was already on 2.6.31-15 and actually downgraded to your packages — I keep the pre-release box checked. So… the ~26 second times were already ureadahead.

    Just for fun, I built another 9.10 installation — still with partitions all over the place as before — in another RAID 0 partition I have. I am sending you bootchart outputs for each of the following:

    2.6.31-14 (as comes stock out of the alt-installer)

    Again, slow-downs did not repeat. Looks like I am shaving ~2 seconds off boot with ureadahead by the non-scientific method I employ: stopwatch: start when hitting enter on grub, stop when I see a regular pointer..

  5. I followed your instructions on how to speed up the boot on the ubuntu 9.10. I clocked the usual boot at about 50-55 seconds and after about 22-26 seconds. It kicks but now! Thanks for the Info.

  6. Wow! Stats for my Athlon XP 3000+ at 2.8GHz with 1GB RAM and Maxtor 40GB HDD:

    Boot from cold to background image appearing : 1:04
    First (warm) boot after patch : 0:40
    Second (warm) boot after patch : 0:40
    Third (cold) boot after patch : 0:43
    Fourth (warm) boot after patch : 0:41

    That’s a saving of approx 23 seconds ie 36% – Well done!

    Btw, it seems to connect to my wireless network quicker too. Weird…

    Btw, it takes 40 seconds to come out of hibernate so there’s no point in hibernate now. Lovely!

    Jon, Melbourne, Australia

  7. Ureadahead seems to hold up the boot sequence on my system due to very slow read speeds (cheap SSD on an eee pc 900A). Can the boot process continue in parallel with ureadahead, first fetching the files required early on during a boot before continuing with the rest while services start?

    I’d be happy to email a selection of bootcharts which illustrate the problem if that helps. I do realise that users with slow SSDs are the minority but suspect that we’re an increasing minority.


  8. I’ve actually started up a website of my own. I’m hoping to

    promote this good deal that I’ve found on a netbook–since they

    seem to be all the rage now, and they’re wonderful little devices,

    I’m trying to show everyone this little gem. If you guys want to

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  9. My ubuntu 9.10 takes more than 5 minutes to boot. I don’t know what to do next.

  10. @ Pedro – my 9.04 boots in 8 seconds on a modest core 2 duo with 2gb ram and intel video card. Here’s how: I always install Ubuntu using ReiserFS as filesystem (been using it for years and never had problems, plus it’s blazing fast compared to the others), use the noatime and nodiratime boot options, noresume (since I don’t use hibernate), removed unnecessary services by installing bum, replaced Gnome with Openbox, and reconfigured and recompiled the kernel for a perfect fit.

  11. HELP! i tried to install this but i cant get a key, so i didnt get the special kernel so now its even slower to boot

    either help me to:

    remove this
    install this

  12. Okay people….most of the goodness from the ubuntu-boot PPA stuff mentioned here was put into Karmic updates. Anything that didn’t make it there, went into Lucid. Adding this PPA now will *NOT* do anything to improve boot performance. The best thing you can do now, is to upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 when it releases. This page documents our improvements in boot speed during the 10.04 development cycle:

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