maandag, februari 25, 2008

Solution for slow Ubuntu boot


I thought i would give Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), a popular Linux-flavor, a try on my laptop (dual booting with Windows XP). Installing it was easy, it looks great, but booting it was slow: it took around 4 minutes! And whatever the beauty is, people don't want to wait that long!

So i visited some forums and finally stopped searching and posted my problem in a thread with messages of people claiming to boot in under a minute (which basically makes you think "what's wrong with me that i can't get that?". A friendly person pointed me to this thread (i removed RO QUIET SPLASH as boot parameters) and now i am booting in under a minute too :-)! (you can edit boot parameters at startup by pressing E in grub: if you want to make the changes persistent, edit menu.lst: "sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst")

I also found this solution (edit /etc/fstab) to skip fschk at boot, since i don't want to wait for my Windows-drives to get checked at every Linux boot or so.

And now that this is fixed, i read about Compiz and thought i would give it a try.

Installed it using this tutorial (for my Acer Travelmate with Ati Radeon i did NOT activate the restricted driver, so follow that tutorial from the step where they install Compiz), installed the driver for the graphics card of my Acer laptop (yeah, all this sounds pretty nerdy right? Too bad you still need to do this). It's easy to get lost in all the options and shortcuts, but you can do what Apple Mac OSX users do with coverflow/dock/Expose (Compiz Scale) etc, what Vista users do with Aero (Compiz Shift Switcher and Application Switcher)... and all for free ;-). Thanks to the hard working open source developers! Thanx guys! At the end i tweaked it so i can switch Compiz on and off (that icon didn't appear, but it turned out you have to make the task bar 2 pixels higher ?!). And i also installed Cairo-dock, a dock like Mac users know (add it to the session/startup-programs to have it start at boot).

Update March 4th: just ran into this Wired-article "Optimize A Fresh Ubuntu Installation". Oh, you might want to install Drapes (through the Synaptic Package Manager) to change wallpaper images. And re-enable the Backspace-button in Firefox to take you back to the previous page).

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