back to article MontaVista boasts 1-second Linux boot

It's getting to where a fellow can't enjoy a nice relaxing boot time these days. The latest perpetrator of the conspiracy: Linux application tool vendor MontaVista, which said today that it is demonstrating an embedded Linux system that boots in just one second. MontaVista's Linux demo goes from a cold boot into a sample, " …


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  1. Real Ale is Best


    The embedded software in my camera goes from off to taking a photo in 0.2s, so its still got some way to go.

    Also, with the latest kernel, you can get a running kernel very quickly, even loading device drivers for a standard PC (in my case 8.2s). Admittedly getting services started takes longer. Still work to be done!

  2. J 12

    Wol Required

    ....and then I'll take one for my Media Server.

    oh, and smb/afp/itunes server/sftp etc etc

  3. Sceptical Bastard

    Fast, slow, quick-quick, slow

    How ironic. The video takes 2minutes 27seconds to show the 'one second boot' .

    Ah, whatever happened to the happy minutes it took to insert the two 5.25in floppies, power up the machine, wait for the tiny screen to flicker into its green-on-black glory, DOS to colonise the wide expanses of that 640KB memory, Locoscript to struggle into life... time to brew coffee, time to roll a fag*, time to reflect on life's electronic wonders.

    * Note to US readers: "rolling a fag" has nothing to do with street robbery committed against homosexuals.

  4. Shane McCarrick

    Wheres my coffee?

    And what are we going to do when we don't get our caffeine fix first thing in the morning, as our PCs boot?

    In all fairness- having played around with Asus' and Acers latest Linux ROM boots- while its impressive that it gets you into a limited working environment so quickly- its simply too limited. I don't know anyone who would willingly limit themselves to the proposed apps- its simply unworkable.......

    Now- wheres that coffee?

  5. Dave 31

    Very interesting

    But I used to use machines like the Commodore PET, TRS-80, ZX81 that booted quicker than that. Bit of a full circle really

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Definitely a bad idea

    If it takes 1 second to boot, I'd expect the video to last, ooooh, maybe 1.5 seconds.

    However, looking at the video, the 1 second boot takes 2m 27s when all the ad.s and promotional material is shown - far too long. I'll stick with W2K thanks.

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    Cheesy music

    Why was that needed ?

  8. Ian Ferguson
    Jobs Horns

    Very nice

    Now why can't Apple do it with the iPhone ;)

  9. Lionel Baden


    is the video not only 1 second

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's with the music on that video?

    Between that and the guy's accent, all I could think of was "Hi, I''m here to boot your Linux system."

    Needs more wakka-wakka guitar, though.

  11. Orjan

    Why is that video so long?

    2:28 for a one-second boot?

  12. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Down


    My car dashboard is operational the instant I turn the ignition key.

  13. William Anderson

    That music ...

    I swear at the start it's Charlie's Angels, and at the end it's like midstage music from Sega Rally or some other Sega AM#2 game circa 1996 ...

  14. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Not ready for the desktop

    This is further proof that Linux is not ready for the desktop...

    What does the average desktop user want out of their box? They want to come in, look at the 1:1 map of the case to find and press the power button, go get a coffee while Windows boots, come back 30 min. later just in time to enter their password, go get another coffee while Windows does its stuff, come back 45 min. later to begin wasting their time playing with shiny buttons. Clearly, Linux cannot provide that. Hence it´s always going to be used only on systems supposed to perform actual work. Not the desktop then.

  15. Mark 65


    Perhaps they could flog it to blu-ray player manufacturers - mine is brand new and takes fucking ages to start up and eject a disk or even eject a disk from a running state. Expletive because it helps with the pain.

  16. e n


    Sorry I don't speak Schwarzenegger, wtf is he saying?

  17. Christian Berger

    Wait! Why Linux on a Dashboard?

    Why do you need Linux on a Dashboard, it's a fairly simple single function device which could be done in assembler.

    Wait why have a CPU in a dashboard at all?

  18. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    I know Linux boys can get very excited about their O/S, but why does the video have porno soundtrack music? Any minute you expect the office secretary/airline hostess to come out, bend over and ask if there is enough RAM to take such a big kernel?!

  19. alien anthropologist


    ..just horrible music in the background of that video clip.

    Sounds like some sick and twisted combination of elevator music, jazz and a 70's porn sound track.

  20. Albert Gonzalez

    I'm wiling to let my desktop TRIPLE that time

    As the title said, i'll be grateful if my desktop can become fully functional in 3 seconds. So I'll be able to do a halt at nigth after backups, and not having to cope with an uptime of months because of the wasted time in the morning.

    I'ts time we get rid of the compressed kernel image, and start using more compiled in drivers. Memory and disk are cheap enough.

  21. James Bryant

    Too fast

    That's just daft, it takes more time than that for my monitor to turn on, therfore it's excessive.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Perhaps the Arnie lookalike should have just said

    We'll be back.

  23. Mat

    The bloke in the video

    Sounded like Arnie - Respect the OS or you will get a taste of my Uzi 9 millimetre

  24. Anton Ivanov
    Thumb Down

    Why ... oh ... why...

    I was playing with some scrap yesterday - 8 year old P4 Tehoma. Under 1s wake up to a full desktop out of ACPI S3 (suspend to RAM) when running diskless, 2.7W consumption in suspend-to-ram. A modern system using an embedded CPU with corresponding RAM running a dedicated application should be able to do that in tens of ms without any special Montavista spice. For PPC or ARM platforms the power consumption in suspend would have been negligible as well.

    That is besides the point anyway, because modern car computer has seconds if not tens of seconds to boot. All it needs to do is boot when you unlock the car using the central locking, instead of when you stick the key in the ignition. By the way, some japanese manufacturers already do that.

    It would have been nice if Montavista directed their energy towards something more useful instead of reinventing the wheel and making it square in the process.

  25. rhydy


    That is excitiing stuff (well for me anyway), made all the more exciting by the funky pr0n soundtrack.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    QNX boots in 200ms

    Enough said :)

  27. ThomH Silver badge

    @Ian Ferguson

    Why can't ANYONE do it with a phone? I think my old Nokia 6600 was the worst offender...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista - wahhhhhh!!!!!!!

    nix should never have the word vista in it's title. <shudders>

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Still wouldn't persuade me to move to Linux

    1 minute boot? I wouldn't care if Linux cured cancer, I still wouldn't use it!

    I shiver to think I'd possibly have something in common with the bearded weirdoes who like an OS with zero applications.

    Give me XP64 and Visual Studio 2008 any day...

  30. Anonymous Coward

    @ Mark 65

    Rather off topic but same experience here. Look for the word "Java" stamped somewhere on a label or in the manual, and that'll be the explanation.

  31. Mike007

    boot times

    could be worse, my mobile phone takes:

    6 seconds playing an ad for the manufacturer

    2 seconds telling me "welcome" (the editable welcome message)

    another 2 seconds showing "welcome to orange"

    then it finally loads the main screen and connects to the network etc, normally in less than half a second

    i doubt most of that delay to turn on is actually required boot delays, instead the delays are because they decided to put in the "feature" of playing an ad video, then saying "welcome" TWICE

  32. Graham Marsden

    @Dave 31

    Don't forget the BBC Micro.


  33. Steve Beesley

    @Dave 31 and Graham Marsden

    Or later Acorns for that matter, from the Archimedes to the RISC PC which may now appear dated but ran a full multi tasking operating system that booted as good as instantly.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    If you don't give a monkey's about Mother Earth, you can always leave your machine on 24/7 then only worry about boot times every once in a blue moon!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    What has happened to people?

    I'm fed up of machines that take multiple minutes to boot.

    Back in the good old days, the Speccy booted instantly, OK it didn't boot with any software loaded but even loading small game (and having a few shots) was quicker than waiting for modern Winblows to start.

    Next I moved to an Amiga. That booted from HD to Workbench in what 5 seconds or something although, admittedly, it didn't have a built in TCP/IP stack.

    I moved to a PC when they stopped selling Amigas. The first thing I noticed was the length of time it took to boot the bastard. Things didn't get any better either - it took longer each time.

    Now that Winblows is even more bloated, it takes such a long time to boot the machine that I rarely do. I have a Mac that I leave on stand by when I need something done quickly. When I really, really need to use Windoze, I just bash my head repeatedly on a wall, the effect is the same.

    So yeah, anything that makes booting time faster is great - especially since almost everything has an OS hidden inside it these days...

  36. NITH

    What about for a server?

    Whoohoo... yay. (sound of ballon deflating)

    What about for a server? If you can do that with something powerful and supports a piss load of users I'll be impressed.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What is this ...

    I would expect ANY embedded real time system to boot < 1 second. But as has been said earlier, why have an OS in a dash ay all?

    And if you DO want something like this then Assembler has been doing this type of thing for decades and decades. Concorde had lovely real-time Assembly routines. I'm fucking certain a car don't need an OS, even if it is Linux.

  38. Andus McCoatover

    Should be a longer vid.

    Pr0n I loaded earlier was a more satisfying 10 minutes.

    And the girl still had her BOOTs on.

    Quicker ain't better always, as I tell the missus. She disagrees, usually being asleep before I've finished. Sad life.

  39. call me scruffy

    Too Little, Too Late.

    I had the "pleasure" of fine tuning Montavista for a client a few months ago.

    They should have got their act together BEFORE they started offering their wares to paying customers.

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