Linux Blog

Charting your boot processes with bootchart

Filed under: Linux Software,Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:57 pm on Monday, September 22, 2008

Linux users often like to boast about their awesome bootup times. I thought that there was nothing cooler than getting a wicked fast bootup time, until now. A while back I found this nifty application called bootchart and shoved it in my bookmarks. I was randomly surfing my bookmarks, came across it again and gave it another shot.

This was developed in response to a challenge on the Fedora development mailing list,but it also works on other distributions. I’ve tested this on nothing but a Fedora 8 installation and a test Fedora 9 that I happened to have laying around.

The first thing you need to do obviously is install it, check your distributions repository to see if its in there, Fedora has it (not sure about RHEL, Cent, Etc)

[root@TheLinuxBlog.Com ~]# yum install bootchart

Did the trick for me on Fedora 8 and 9.

Once you have accepted and have it installed, all you need to do is reboot.

Ok, for those that want to test it, and for those of you that want to know how to recover from this if bootchart fails, it modifies your grub (or lilo) .conf file and adds the following line:

init=/sbin/bootchartd

If it fails to boot, you can use the grub command “e” to edit the parameters and use init=/sbin/init

Once you have rebooted and logged back in, all you have to do (as root) is type:

[root@TheLinuxBlog.Com ~]# bootchart

This finds the log file that was written and generates a nice graph for you as follows:

bootchart
(Click for a larger image)

As you can see from the graphs and gannt chart, bootchart is a very impressive utility. I am planning on running it on all of my computers and comparing the results. I expect to see minor difference due to the types of services they run, but it will be interesting to see the difference in bootup times across different architectures.

Once you are done with bootchart you can uninstall it, or leave it installed. I opted to uninstall it, as I do not need another layer of complexity or anything else slowing my bootup time down.

- Owen


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