[vdr] boot times

Nicolas Huillard nhuillard at e-dition.fr
Tue Jun 21 12:02:50 CEST 2005

Alfred Zastrow a écrit :
> Nicolas Huillard schrieb:
>> Did you test different boot-time of standard stripped-down distros,
>> before setting this up, or did you go straight there because there is no
>> hope to significantly reduce the boot-time (read "time before
>> live-view").
>> Said otherwise : what is the cost of the lasts seconds saved on booting,
>> and is it worth the effort for us average hackers ?
>> IIRC, a base install of a standard Debian boots in 15 seconds (from the
>> BIOS to the prompt, VIA C3 1Ghz). You have quite nothing for this time,
>> but it is still really low.
> I began with debian in 1999. It was a 2 disk distribution of the first
> linux edition from the german "chip" magazine. Later I switched to Suse
> and the first update (I think from 6.2 to 6.3) messed up my system. I
> tried red hat but I got sick of all the rpm orgies. Then I decided to
> build the things mysef, now for more then 5 years. I use some chroot
> environments and a script driven build system on my master machine.

I started from Slackware, then turned to RedHat when everybody talked
about that around 1998, then solved the RPM orgies with Debian.
I stick to Debian since 2001, but acknowledge that it's not at all tuned
for embedded systems.

> Right now Im fighting with an embeded installation of asterisk (ISDN-
> and internet phone box software) on an old K6-2/500 at 400-board.  :-)

I plan to turn a K6/2 + 16Mb compact-flash into a network ogg player
(hifi-style) (goal is : no investment into new hardware, just use
regular junk). What you explained makes me think it's highly doable.
Thanks ;-)

> Regarding your "15 seconds":
> Put three disks with sizes of 200 to 300 GB and formated with reiserfs
> in your system an you will wait 20 to 30 seconds longer because of the
> filesystem consistency checks.

Maybe "1 TB storage" does not match "embedded system", after all. It's a
matter of opinion though, and I won't argue.
Do you apply in this case your solution to load IDE modules after
running the main daemon (VDR), then mount and check the FS after that
(delaying recording playback, but not live-view) ?

> I can get a shell prompt after 5 seconds. The <10 seconds up to a
> picture include the firmware-loading of *two* FF-cards and the
> initialisation of a saa7134 mpex card.

That's clearly impressive. Too bad I can't read your german pages...
Did you try to go up to the LinuxBios step ? The ugly screen with 10-20
seconds delay before boot seems like a show-stopper in your case.

Do you have pointers to base systems of this kind (development tree,
master setup or so, that is used to generate system images to install on
the target host) ?


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