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Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: Lucid Lynx Benchmarked And Reviewed

Benchmark Results: Boot, Hibernate, Wake, And Shut Down Times

Most operating systems tout their boot times measured from when the boot loader finishes to the time the desktop appears. Not waiting for the desktop to become usable is obviously bogus. And as far as we're concerned, the OS/distribution gets to choose its boot loader and configure it, so the time it takes to function should be counted as well.

All of these times were measured using a stopwatch. For boot and wake times, we began timing when the power button on the PC was pressed and finished the count when a usable desktop appeared.

Our 64-bit test system takes about fourteen seconds to POST before GRUB takes over. This brief window was removed from the boot and wake times, since the OS has nothing to do with it. For hibernate and shut down times, we measured from the time shut down or hibernate was confirmed in the OS to the time that the PC powered down.

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope made significant improvements to boot times, and 9.10 Karmic Koala continued shaving the seconds off with the introduction of Upstart, which erased the “unusable desktop.”

Lucid is faster yet, and just look how it improves over Hardy Heron, the OS it is replacing as the most current LTS. The new 10.04 LTS is almost 30 seconds faster than 8.04. The boot time of Lucid Lynx is nearly 20 seconds! The 10 second boot time that Canonical had hoped to achieve with this release seems entirely possible, if only on an SSD.

Hardy goes into hibernation a good four seconds faster than Lucid. But the Lynx outperforms the Heron by roughly eight seconds when coming out of hibernation and when shutting down. For some reason, Hardy wakes much faster than it boots, while Lucid is quicker to boot than to awaken.  We're calling Lucid the overall winner here considering that it outperformed Hardy in three out of four tests - major improvement in boot times.

  • My Logitech Wireless Wave keyboard and mouse didn't work with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop x64 on VMWare Workstation 7.01. It works in the beginning with text screen, but once it goes to GUI screen keyboard function is lost. ;_;
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    There's lots of talk on the Phoronix forums about how Ubuntu + nVidia binaries don't play nicely, while some other distros don't have that problem. This was reflected in an Ubuntu vs. Arch bench-off: surprisingly, Arch only really thrashed Ubuntu in the games and everything else was about even. This might be behind those pitiful scores with the game benchmarks.
    Compiz also has a measurable, negative effect on game benches with nVidia, but not so much with ATI hardware/drivers. I'm not surprised that turning off desktop effects changed the game so much.

    What do you think is going on with 7zip, an ext4 issue?
  • jsowoc
    With 10.10 planning btrfs and GnomeShell, it's a sure recepie for tragedy :-). Very nice article.
  • adamovera
    RE: desktop effects - I'll be adding an ATI card to the mix a little earlier than I had intended in order to look at the desktop effects issue. Stay tuned.
    RE: Gaming FPS - The interesting thing is that the actual games didn't have that big of an impact from desktop effects. It was the unigine benchmarks that showed seriously significant drops in frame rates with them enabled.
    RE: 7z - I suppose it could be EXT4, but I believe EXT4 is the reason for the speed gains in all other comp/decomp tests, as well as the copy time tests. Comprehensive filesystem and archiving benchmarks under the same release should tell us whether or not it's an EXT4 issue.
  • apoq
    Why no benchmark against Windows. You yourself said Ubuntu should be aiming to convert Windows users more than Mac users (and I whole heartedly agree with you). I love Ubuntu and I use most of the time, but every time I boot into Windows (7) I am left with the feeling of a way snappier OS. I think this is where Ubuntu is really lacking.
  • killerclick
    Linux still doesn't have the software I need so I can't use it. However I've noticed a sharp decrease in stupid problems in the past three years (prolly thanks to Ubuntu). Currently my favorite distro is Mint but I remain a Windows user mainly because of a lot of software I own and am proficient in.
    As for the latest Ubuntu, why can't they have a bland business-like theme? Are the Phoenix Suns now paying them to use their colors?
  • For your Skype visibility issues, go to Skype settings and change theme to GTK+. Did the trick for me.
  • samspqr
    looks nice, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions, like:
    * will it play 1080p24 H.264 videos smoothly, with GPU acceleration?
    * will it play vimeo/youtube high-res videos smoothly?
    given how good you say it is on the other fronts, I'll give it a try and see for myself (I'm currently on 8.04, so convincing me to spend an afternoon updating my systems is no small feat)
  • zybch
    So, will this year be another "Year of Linux on the Desktop" like its been claiming for the past decade year in year out? Or will it remain a niche OS which people needing to do actual work on 'real' programs can continue to dismiss out of hand?
  • flightmare
    You can set the minimize, close and maximize buttons to the right again in gconf-editor. Browse to apps/metacity/general and edit button_layout to your likings.