One of my complains about Linux has always been the biblical boot time – endless disk churning, endless listing of obscure lines on the video. With the latest distros this aspect of the system has been improved, but still Linux lags behind Windows.
This work, with an impressive 5 seconds for the whole system up and running, points in the right direction. The authors claim that in order to achieve this result they just set a time budget for each subsystem to start. That is, according to them, aim to a well defined goal, rather than a generic “make it faster” statement.
I think that the winning move is not the fixed time budget, but a disenchanted, pragmatic look at the boot process with two strong propositions – 1) don’t let everyone pay for something that only few use and 2) do we really need to do it this way. I found very brilliant the approach taken with respect to GDM. Do we really need GDM and pay the full 2 seconds it takes to wake up? No, because we can start the last user session and lock it with the screensaver.