Of course the BIOS dances around a bit and the boot menu has a default 3s delay for testing but I will set that to 0 before rolling this out to more teachers. I did tests with dual SATA 500 gB drives in RAID 1 to see that, indeed, two files at once may be read (two heads are better than one). I even throttled the drives down to 160 gB so they would not have so far to seek. Compare this with the minutes they have to wait for XP on our old hardware. Teachers are going to love GNU/Linux. It might reduce coffee consumption, however. Login takes 3s to get to a usable desktop.
To enable parallel booting, all I had to do was include this line,
in /etc/default/rcS . Cool. I still have a bit of room to improve DHCP. That takes up to 3s on my DLINK box. I could issue static IP addresses and save a couple more seconds. DHCPREQUEST on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 real 0m1.622s
DHCPACK from 192.168.0.1
bound to 192.168.0.159 — renewal in 295203 seconds.
I could also install a faster DHCP server.
DHCPREQUEST on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67
I measured the following times with a clock on the wall:
- Power on until boot menu appears: 13s
- boot menu to login screen: 17s
- login screen to usable desktop: 4s
That is a big improvment over the minutes we spend waiting/please waiting on XP on our old hardware.