Adjusting rc.sysinit, adjusting udevadm

My Arch systems still feel considerably slower than comparable Crux systems. The battered Thinkpad, as an example, needs 25 seconds to reach an Arch desktop, while it boots quite easily to an identical Crux desktop in only 18. Seven seconds is probably splitting hairs for a machine that starts faster than most Ubuntu machines, regardless of the desktop or hardware.

But for me, it’s a bit of an obsession. So I’m always curious about little tweaks here and there to make Arch run faster or start quicker. The idea of carving down the rc.sysinit file seemed like a good one, except for me it didn’t make things faster, and using the one posted in the pastebin by Barrucadu actually made things start slower.

It isn’t hard to manage though, so if you want to try it for yourself, trim out parts of the file that don’t apply to your hardware. (You’d do well to copy the original first, because you can accidentally make your system unbootable.) I don’t know how much effect it will really have, since most of those sections are triggered with if-clauses. If you don’t have the hardware, it probably doesn’t run anyway.

On the other hand, I still get great results from setting the --timeout flag on the udev-uevents sequence, which is inside /etc/rc.sysinit, but now set at the /sbin/udevadm line. (I can’t give you the specific line number since it changes when some updates are performed.) Make that line look like

/sbin/udevadm settle --timeout 3

Be careful with that timeout, though: Making it too short keeps parts of the system from being appended … in other words, unbootable, again.

One more nifty trick is to tack an ampersand — & — on the end of the modprobe command, in the module loading loop.

/sbin/modprobe $mod &

It probably goes without saying that autoloading isn’t affected by that … I think. So make sure you’re manually loading the modules you want in your /etc/rc.conf file.

These two together cut about three seconds off the 25 I mentioned earlier. But apart from those two, I haven’t run across much lately that will make Arch run like Crux. Funny, but it was almost two years ago exactly that I started trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch. It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess. đŸ™„

1 thought on “Adjusting rc.sysinit, adjusting udevadm

  1. bkanev

    I’ve always wanted to try a source distro but … lately I can’t even find time to properly read the Arch install file and the wonderful blogs I found through your blog on Openbox :(( . So I’ll put these on hold till June is out. BTW, I noticed this browser, I haven’t seen you mention before – Netsurf browser. Seems a bit like Kazehakase. Any observations on how these compare to each other?

    I also tried the [url=]Arora[/url] browser based on Webkit. Quite promising IMHO.



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