Fast booting: Ubuntu 10.4 and Intel SSD

I recently bought an Intel X25-V SSD since the price of this value edition was finally within my reach around at 800DKK for 40GB. I really enjoy it – it is very fast and even better yet it is dead silent. I can lay in my bed browsing and not wake up my girlfriend. 🙂 Compared to the Intel X25-M or X25-E SSD’s it does not have as fast read or write speeds, but for my use this really doesn’t matter.

On top of this upgrade the new Ubuntu 10.4 was released and one of the things that differentiates it from 9.10 is the focus on boot speed. So combined this should be really fast. To show just how fast it turned out to be I made this small video where I boot my Lenovo Thinkpad X200 with Ubuntu 10.4 with preload installed.

As you can see in the video I have already put the computer through the BIOS and the bootloader just need an ENTER to start booting the HDD. The computer starts to load at 2s and is fully logged in and with gnome loaded at 17s. That is a 15 second boot time, add some 4s for the BIOS and the computer goes from completely cold to fully operational in around 19s.

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  1. Hi!

    What FS do you use?
    How did you wipe the drive? What about TRIM support?
    Partition alignment? 😉


  2. Hi Stefan

    I formated with ext4 and did not care about partition alignment – I thought only the new drives used 4K blocks, so didn’t look into it. Performance is great so I have yet not been motivated enough to look into it. If you need to align a 4K disk use “fdisk -cul” which will set it up for non-dos compatible mode and start the partition at sector 2048, see details in Building a powerful, cheap and silent Linux NAS and HTPC server.

    Since I had still not experienced any performance issues I have not yet looked deeply into TRIM. From what I have read though it supported from kernel 2.6.33 and the current 10.10 on my laptop is at 2.6.35, so it should be supported – I just haven’t looked into it yet.

    Update: I have now looked into it and it was quite easy – I just had to add “discard” to the ext4 mount options and then it worked. See the details on:

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