Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Oct 2010 20:51 UTC
Google Interesting little digging from TechCrunch's MG Siegler: as it turns out, Google's Chrome OS is nearing completion. The company is currently testing a release candidate build, and has reiterated that devices running Chrome OS will arrive later this year.
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RE[6]: "use cases" for Chrome OS
by ricegf on Thu 14th Oct 2010 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: "use cases" for Chrome OS"
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

In fairness, modern boot sequences are doing a lot of useful work that DOS never did. For example, DOS just pulled the Centronics RESET pin low across all 3 printer ports (whether they existed or not ;-) for a few seconds and called the peripherals good, then stuck up a default mode 0 text screen with a prompt. Not that challenging, but then, with only 160k and a 4.77 MHz processor...

A modern OS walks the entire USB tree, validating and loading drivers dynamically as it goes, brings up one or more networks, dynamically configures video for the current set of monitors, loads a boatload of desktop extensions and configuration settings... It's not just "bloat", it's very useful work given a billion users with very different preferences, hardware and peripheral sets.

Of course, focusing effort on boot time (by moving some configuration into the background, for example) can result in much faster boot times. For example, the last two Ubuntu releases together cut my desktop boot times by a factor of three.

That said, I reboot my devices (phone to server) so rarely I don't particularly care. It's more of a first impression consideration - "wow, Ubuntu boots fast!" - than a real productivity boost.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

In fairness, modern boot sequences are doing a lot of useful work that DOS never did. For example, DOS just pulled the Centronics RESET pin low across all 3 printer ports (whether they existed or not ;-) for a few seconds and called the peripherals good, then stuck up a default mode 0 text screen with a prompt. Not that challenging, but then, with only 160k and a 4.77 MHz processor...

A modern OS walks the entire USB tree, validating and loading drivers dynamically as it goes, brings up one or more networks, dynamically configures video for the current set of monitors, loads a boatload of desktop extensions and configuration settings... It's not just "bloat", it's very useful work given a billion users with very different preferences, hardware and peripheral sets.

Of course, focusing effort on boot time (by moving some configuration into the background, for example) can result in much faster boot times. For example, the last two Ubuntu releases together cut my desktop boot times by a factor of three.

That said, I reboot my devices (phone to server) so rarely I don't particularly care. It's more of a first impression consideration - "wow, Ubuntu boots fast!" - than a real productivity boost.

Yes, they do more, but I don't think it's enough.

With modern hardware, generating an identity-mapped page table for 2 GB of RAM is done in a very small fraction of second, and I'm suspicious that it's the same with probing PCI and USB since the OS is more or less polling high-speed peripherals through an uncluttered bus.

Adaptation to multiple hardware and user configurations can slow down the thing a lot, yes, but only at first boot. At later boot, if there's no change in system configuration, I think the OS can just go full speed as if it was made for the user's specific configuration.

But I need more coding work before I can back this claim with experimental data.

Edited 2010-10-14 16:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

"At later boot, if there's no change in system configuration..."

There's the kicker, no? How do you know there's no change in system configuration until you've fully scanned the system configuration?

I believe it was the ill-fated Lindows distribution that used to ask the user during boot if anything had changed, as in "Press ESC to scan hardware" or something (been a loooong time). It booted pretty fast, but of course, only at the very high cost of trusting the end user.

You might also be interested in the generic discussion of fast boot strategies at http://kerneltrap.org/node/2644.

Best wishes on your coding work toward finding even faster boot strategies. It's part of the joy of open source, as they say. ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 2