A silly, but obvious, mistake

For a very long time now I have advocated taking the “quiet” option out of the kernel boot line, mostly because it lets me see what is happening inside the mind of the computer at startup. If there are errors or inconsistencies, they usually appear on the screen and I can track them from there.

At the same time, I am well aware that on my very old systems (by that I mean this one and this one), the video hardware is slow or underpowered or out-of-date, and as a result long streams of updated text can slow down some processes.

As an example, there is a difference of about 2-3 seconds in the time it takes to decompress a kernel on this machine, if I don’t ask tar to give a verbose readout of every file that is inflated. That I blame on the ability of the screen to keep up with the action.

There are some other factors involved — things like filesystems and framebuffer dimensions and so forth — but it should not have surprised me (like it did) to see the same computer boot a little faster (like it did) when I added the quiet tag back to the kernel boot line. (Like I did.)

Makes sense really — the framebuffer snaps to the better 800×600 resolution, then starts streaming boot information, which takes a long time to refresh and scroll. And why bother if the machine is stable and doesn’t need troubleshooting?

So anyway, if you’re also using a very old machine and you also rely on the framebuffer, remember that you might want that “quiet” tag, even if K.Mandla says to take it out. :roll: Just more proof that I don’t know everything. Yet.

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3 Responses to “A silly, but obvious, mistake”


  1. 1 yoshi314 2010/07/30 at 1:47 PM

    in case of userspace screen gives a similar effect if you often compilse stuff and use KMS. running compilation in screen session and detaching it speeds build considerably on my machine.

  2. 2 mulenmar 2010/07/30 at 2:59 PM

    Is this with or without the framebuffer scrolling speedup trick?


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