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The reason why Arch boots fast is partialy because it enables parallel execution of some init scripts, but mainly because the scripts witch must be executed sequentialy are few and get processed quickley. Its, at least to my experience, the fastest booting linux distro.
It would be nice if Ubuntu (the others aswell but Ubuntu is my distro of choice) implement something similar on the next release.
Yes, I'm a speed freak.
You could always enable simpleinit and boot parallel in any distro, it's part of the util-linux package:
make HAVE_KILL=yes HAVE_SLN=yes
make HAVE_KILL=yes HAVE_SLN=yes all-getty all-init all-misc
make HAVE_KILL=yes HAVE_SLN=yes install-init install-getty install-misc
make HAVE_KILL=yes HAVE_SLN=yes install
and you'll need some new rc scripts or add needs/provides statements to your existing, or take and hack mine: http://gnnix.org/base/root/dist/usr/src/gnxbootscripts-0.8/sbin/ini...