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Intel Aims for Two Second Boot Times

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 49 comments
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Imagine an operating system that would boot in two seconds -- that’s what Intel is aiming for with Moblin.

We reported earlier this year that Intel had released a Linux-based operating system for alpha testing. Intel’s aim for Moblin is to provide the Atom CPU a light and fast OS that less stressful than running a full blown version of Windows.

Those who have been testing the alpha version since late January have found that parts of the system can be started up in just seconds. If Intel is able to reduce all initialization processes to just a couple seconds, and have them run in parallel, we could have the fastest booting OS yet.

Intel Open Source Technology Center director Imhad Sousou spoke at the Linux Collaboration Summit about reducing Moblin boot times, detailed in Ars Technica’s report. By cutting out bloat, parallelizing and other streamlining techniques, Sousou declared, "We think that two second boot is possible."

A reduced boot time would increase the usability of any system, but particularly so for portable devices such as the netbooks and MIDs that Moblin is targeted at. Often we’re finding that we prefer to have our notebooks (and netbooks) in and out of sleep states for the sake of having nearly-immediate access. Of course, sleep modes do drain battery as well as risk data loss, and hibernate modes still incur wait times as RAM is being written back and forth.

Would you be willing to try Moblin (that’s right, bye bye Windows, hello Linux) on your netbook if Intel made good on its promises for a two second boot time?

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    ckthecerealkiller , April 9, 2009 9:05 PM
    I would be all over it like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm.
  • 10 Hide
    icestorm50 , April 9, 2009 8:56 PM
    With a 2 second boot you could shut down to save battery life and then have almost no penalty when you go to reboot; that sounds mighty nice! I would be willing to take a look at netbooks with Moblin installed on them when Intel has a Moblin booting around 2 seconds.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    icestorm50 , April 9, 2009 8:56 PM
    With a 2 second boot you could shut down to save battery life and then have almost no penalty when you go to reboot; that sounds mighty nice! I would be willing to take a look at netbooks with Moblin installed on them when Intel has a Moblin booting around 2 seconds.
  • Display all 49 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    decoppel , April 9, 2009 9:02 PM
    I would be willing to try it anyway.

    I really don't want a windows based OS on MY netbook.
  • 11 Hide
    ckthecerealkiller , April 9, 2009 9:05 PM
    I would be all over it like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm.
  • -6 Hide
    the_one111 , April 9, 2009 9:11 PM
    No, I wouldn't.

    I mean, my god, we couldn't wait 6 more seconds....
  • 4 Hide
    sublifer , April 9, 2009 9:23 PM
    I'd sure give it a try. Having a Linux OS that fast might be enough to win a sizable marketshare for linux which would mean better support and maybe even AAA game releases on Linux. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2009 9:24 PM
    So you're trying to tell me that a crappy, slow, Atom processor can boot an OS in 2 seconds? I'm sure they mean: "display the desktop in 2 seconds, and wait 10 more seconds for the rest of the OS to catch-up while the mouse cursor sits frozen." I was noticing today that Ubuntu comes with some of the smaller to netbook sized Dells now, I'd trust Ubuntu far more than Moblin.
  • 2 Hide
    ckthecerealkiller , April 9, 2009 9:30 PM
    YouKnowItsTrueI'd trust Ubuntu far more than Moblin.


    I certainly have to agree with that statement. Also, I doubt that the full boot process could be completed in 2 seconds as well. Still it would be great if it does work as described. Not likely, but still......
  • 4 Hide
    antemon , April 9, 2009 9:54 PM
    let's see what the ext4 file system does with moblin.

    and I can't hardly wait for jaunty.
  • -1 Hide
    gamefreak62 , April 9, 2009 9:59 PM
    I don't think I would care what OS it was running if it could boot in two seconds. (Unless it were Ubuntu. I just can't warm myself up to Gnome...) I would use a netbook for just work anyway since the hardware in them sucks too bad for games.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2009 10:18 PM
    Sure i could put in my quad boot notebook replacing vista
  • 2 Hide
    ph3412b07 , April 9, 2009 10:25 PM
    Interesting, what kind of functionality does it have though? The ASUS linux based Express Gate already offers boot in a couple seconds. Tack on a SSD and its even quicker.
  • -6 Hide
    Blessedman , April 9, 2009 10:39 PM
    Sure I would sacrifice usability for boot time! I would love to not have any of the applications i use on a day to day basis to be able to do nothing in 2 secs flat! lol Unless we have real world applications being developed for Linux all this is just benchmark talk...
  • -5 Hide
    brendano257 , April 9, 2009 10:45 PM
    They are trying to introduce an operating system that is not mainstream to a market of netbooks that relies of the mainstream...I doubt it will work, and boot time or not I'd prefer to stay with what I know, mainly Windows, but if Apple were to put out a quick-booting OS, I may consider it for desktop app, but not gaming of course.
  • 0 Hide
    the_one111 , April 9, 2009 10:54 PM
    ckthecerealkillerI certainly have to agree with that statement. Also, I doubt that the full boot process could be completed in 2 seconds as well. Still it would be great if it does work as described. Not likely, but still......

    I agree also..
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , April 9, 2009 11:01 PM
    I'd be willing to try.
    First I'd have to get a netbook though.
    What about the integrated OS in some motherboards? Provide net, email, and instant messaging. All I'd use a motherboard for anyways.
  • 3 Hide
    Greatwalrus , April 9, 2009 11:01 PM
    gamefreak62I don't think I would care what OS it was running if it could boot in two seconds. (Unless it were Ubuntu. I just can't warm myself up to Gnome...) I would use a netbook for just work anyway since the hardware in them sucks too bad for games.

    You do know about Kubuntu (KDE Desktop), Xubuntu (Xfce desktop) and Fluxbuntu (Fluxbox desktop) as alternatives to regular Ubuntu, right? :) 

    And I will absolutely try this. Man, that would be awesome to boot into my desktop in 2 seconds and check something on the internet before I have to leave in a minute or two. Not that big of a deal, but it would also be an energy-saving alternative to suspend/sleep mode.

    However, my current Arch Linux system boots into the desktop in about 15-20 seconds, so it's not a huge deal to me to gain those extra seconds. Definitely beats my experience with booting Windows (no fanboyism intended).
  • 1 Hide
    solymnar , April 9, 2009 11:46 PM
    Huh...2 seconds.

    Like many I'll believe it when I see AND displaying desktop does not = computer is fully up and running.

    That said, for a mobile device that has specialized apps loaded on it. If it works will probably be a very handy thing indeed. Most people don't really need windows loaded on their mobile devices, they just need the apps to be functional and the files to be compatible with whatever they normally use on their desktop.
  • 3 Hide
    gamefreak62 , April 10, 2009 1:03 AM
    I'd say that you don't sacrifice much usability when switching to linux, since there are alternatives to just about all the windows apps excepting games. Most of the really neat things on Windows like Photoshop and the like don't have good alternatives with all the easy to use features, but alternatives are there. As far as the usefullness of netbooks goes, they aren't really meant for much more than word processing and internet browsing, which linux provides very good alternatives for those, (most of which will actually run on windows too).
    Most of the internet already runs on linux anyway.
    And yes, I've heard of the other ubuntu variants, and they are a bit better, but instead of the likes of Kubuntu I would use Mepis, which actually shares ubuntu innards but is designed with K interface in mind so it's slightly better for that. (I admit, I'm not familiar with Xfce or Fluxbox desktop environments, I'll have to check them out.)
  • 0 Hide
    jaragon13 , April 10, 2009 1:23 AM
    gamefreak62I'd say that you don't sacrifice much usability when switching to linux, since there are alternatives to just about all the windows apps excepting games. Most of the really neat things on Windows like Photoshop and the like don't have good alternatives with all the easy to use features, but alternatives are there. As far as the usefullness of netbooks goes, they aren't really meant for much more than word processing and internet browsing, which linux provides very good alternatives for those, (most of which will actually run on windows too). Most of the internet already runs on linux anyway.And yes, I've heard of the other ubuntu variants, and they are a bit better, but instead of the likes of Kubuntu I would use Mepis, which actually shares ubuntu innards but is designed with K interface in mind so it's slightly better for that. (I admit, I'm not familiar with Xfce or Fluxbox desktop environments, I'll have to check them out.)

    GIMP? Paint.NET?
    Also, I'm pretty sure you can modify photoshop to work on linux.

    I'm pretty interested in an operating system from an actual silicon designer/manufacturer...Maybe they can actually take advantage of all the processing power :p 
  • 0 Hide
    SAL-e , April 10, 2009 1:47 AM
    YouKnowItsTrueSo you're trying to tell me that a crappy, slow, Atom processor can boot an OS in 2 seconds? I'm sure they mean: "display the desktop in 2 seconds, and wait 10 more seconds for the rest of the OS to catch-up while the mouse cursor sits frozen."

    That is exactly how it is done. Windows is doing the same think since Windows 98. But compare to Windows the mouse don't get frozen because the better task scheduler used by new Linux kernel used by Moblin. Of course you need to wait for network connection in order to open your e-mails. With new changes in the kernel I think we can see even faster boot times.
    YouKnowItsTrue I was noticing today that Ubuntu comes with some of the smaller to netbook sized Dells now, I'd trust Ubuntu far more than Moblin.
    The new Ubuntu loads all background task faster then Moblin, but Moblin is not finished yet and has a lot of debugging code enabled.
    Moblin V2 vs. Ubuntu Netbook Remix vs. Ubuntu MID
    This is small demonstration how the Linux can be trimmed down in order to achieve maximum performance.
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