Speed up your Ubuntu machine boot time

Are you desperately searching for ways to finally reach that elusive 10 second boot time? You certainly heard that Ubuntu 10.04 has the capability of doing just that right? It can...but you have to help it along. One of the ways you can help your boot time is removing unnecessary services and drivers that are loaded at boot time. Fortunately, this isn't something you have to manually do. How is this? There is a tool that can help the Grub boot loader learn what it is you need at start up. This tool is called profile.

Profile is not a tool you install, or run from the command line. Instead, profile is an option you add to your grub configuration file to inform the boot loader you want to create a profile  during the next boot loading sequence. In this article I am going to show you how to profile your grub boot sequence for a faster boot process.

How this works

When you boot up your machine Grub does a search for all the necessary drivers to load. This takes time. Instead of making Grub search for these drivers, the profiling actually makes Grub remember every driver necessary to work, thereby cutting down all of the driver load times.

This is a proven technique that can help the boot process. It has actually been around since Ubuntu 6.04, so it has been tested and tested and does work. I will make this normal disclaimer. Even though Grub profile works, anytime you deal with your bootloader you take the chance that you can render your machine unbootable. So you use this tool at your own risk. Don't take that to mean profile is a dangerous tool and your machine will wind up bricked and mocking you...that is just to say should something happen, you were warned.

Read also:  A look at OpenSUSE based Gecko Linux

How to add profiling

To do this you are going to have to modify your /etc/default/grub file. The edits are not challenging at all. So, open up a terminal window and get ready to work.

The line you are looking for is:



GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

This is the line that gives the options to Grup upon boot. You need to add one more option to that line so it now looks like:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash profile"

Save that file and then issue the command:

sudo update-grub2

You are ready to reboot your machine.

During this next boot time you will see a noticeable SLOW DOWN. This is normal because Grub is now running the profile. This is quite necessary.

Once the boot up is complete, open up that /etc/default/grub file, remove the profile entry you just added, and re-run the command sudo update-grub2. Now reboot your machine again and see if you don't notice a distinct speed increase in your boot times.

Final thoughts

There are so many ways to speed up the boot process of your Ubuntu Linux machine. This process, however, is one of the ones that will truly speed up the process and is tested and safe to use. You should gain some noticeable increases and should even speed up after 2 or 3 more start ups.

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Responses to Speed up your Ubuntu machine boot time

  1. Dotan Cohen July 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Why not just add the profile argument once at boot time from within grub?

  2. Paul July 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks Jack!

    Speed thrills.

  3. leif July 12, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    It does speed things up, BUT, I cant start firefox anymore on neither of the two machines ive used this on. And it is exactly since trying it.

    How is this possible?

  4. raj July 13, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    Boot speed not improved. Same speed.
    I have i3 4GB Dell New Inspiron R.

    • RyanE512 September 5, 2014 at 1:32 am #

      Funny thing is...

      I have the same laptop. Not the best, huh...

  5. gokul July 13, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    why cant you just do it in the grub loader on boot up. Press "E" when your grub boots up to edit and add profile on the kernel you usually use . ??

  6. gokul July 13, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    and also why you need to remove it after booting ??

  7. Gringo July 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    would also be nice to know how to undo again, in case it fails or some things don't work anymore. How to remove the saved profile, that is.
    Is it just a file?

  8. Abi Darwish July 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I don't really see this boot profiling is needed since we have ureadahead.

  9. nothingNoticed July 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Booting to login screen:

    Original: 45.832
    Profile On: 40.057
    Post Profiling I: 39.516
    Post Profiling II: 39.662

    I suppose every little bit is nice.

  10. Ken July 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Original : 22.7 seconds
    Profile on: 22.9 seconds
    Post Profile: 21.8 seconds

    Dell Latitude 6510

  11. ved prakash July 27, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Thank you for this precious information............

  12. Asmageddon December 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    How to do this when I only have update-grub and no update-grub2? :<
    /etc/default/grub: line 1: splash”: nie znaleziono polecenia

  13. Tenaciousdroid October 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Amazing,
    Toshiba Satellite a10
    Original : 58 secodns
    Profile on : 84 seconds
    post: 28 seconds

  14. Bob August 9, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    Does this still apply to current Ubuntu versions? eg. 14.04.1?

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