Boot Speed War: Xubuntu 9.04 vs. Fedora 10 vs. PCLinuxOS 2009

The freshly released Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" is said to have significantly improved its boot speed. So I got curious and decided to compare its boot performance to Fedora 10 and PCLinuxOS 2009.

I did the test by installing the three distributions through Parallels Desktop virtual machine utilizing the same configuration on my Mac (Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo). Note that I decided to use Xubuntu to give some variation on desktop environment as we already have GNOME in F10 and KDE in PCLOS 2009.

To measure the boot speed, I started the timer immediately after GRUB, and then stopped it until the desktop has loaded completely.

Now if you are ready for our boot speed war, see the clips below:

Xubuntu 9.04 boots in 54.71 seconds!

PCLinuxOS 2009 boots in 56.01 seconds!

Fedora 10 boots in 69.27 seconds!

Xubuntu 9.04 won, but only by a slim margin against PCLOS 2009. I was surprised to see Fedora 10 as being the slowest to boot among the three.

Additional Info (Key Virtual Machine Configuration):
VM Memory: 512 MB
VM Hard Disk: 8 GB
CPU: 1


  1. > Fedora 10 boots in 69.27 seconds!
    Fedora 11 is trying to target a 20 second boot time.

  2. Xfce ext4? vs. kde ext3???

  3. How about apples for apples next time. How about Kubuntu vs. PCLinuxOS vs. Fedora KDE. Or Ubuntu vs. PCLinuxOS Gnome vs. Fedora?

  4. I must agree, PCLinuxOS vs Kubuntu should be the right match.

  5. Interesting that PCLinuxOS was second, especially as this version is based on Mandriva 2009.0.

    As Mandriva 2009 Spring will have further boot improvements, I guess that Mandriva 2009 Spring should boot faster than Ubuntu.

    The Mandriva 2009 Spring will be released shortly before the end of this month.

  6. But the point isn't about apples-to-apples, it is about boot times.

  7. Fedora 11 boots very fast. Faster than Ubuntu or PCLOS. At this time.

  8. Good attempt but rather pointless. Try using bootchart and pybootchartgui to do an automated timing of bootup. That will have more of a meaning.

  9. Yeah, well my Splashtop system boots in 5 seconds!

    Seriously, we're never going to get an apples to apples review until we get synchronized release schedules.

  10. Yeah, I have to agree. This is not a fair test. But it was interesting.

    I'll stick with PCLinuxOS. Boot time is not really a concern.

  11. Fabrice: "Interesting that PCLinuxOS was second, especially as this version is based on Mandriva 2009.0."

    It isn't, actually. PCLOS last re-based from Mandriva 2007. All subsequent releases haven't been re-based against Mandriva, so you can't really say PCLOS 2009 is based on Mandriva 2009, they just happen to have the same version name.

    PCLOS and MDV are fairly different in boot approach these days, I believe, I don't think the PCLOS result would imply much about MDV.

    Author: Fedora 11 would be a much more interesting test than 10.

  12. The Various dispaly managers makes a difference and therefore this is not a fair comparison. They all should be KDE, Gnome, or XFC. plus. the file systems are little difference but stil they should be the same across the board for a fair trial.

  13. Are these the results of timing a single boot of each system?
    Running under Parallels will also mean that the results will be heavily influenced by how much of the OS drives data is cached by MacOSX.

    In summary - a less than ideal (hopeless?) benchmark.

  14. no sense comparing "boot speed"between distros and desktops. Xfc is the lighter version for desktops. KDE is the heavy version, and ext4 is faster than ext3 or ext2... I guess if you compare Xubuntu, Ubuntu and Kubuntu 9.04 with ext4 partition, obiusly, Xubuntu will be the winner. Or

    Ubuntu 8.10 ext4 vs ubuntu 9.10 ext3, I guess the winner will be ubuntu 8.10.

  15. When comparing apples, oranges, and bananas, about all your gonna get is fruit salad.
    If your going to compare boot times of 3 different distro's, at least make sure they are all running the same desktop manager.

  16. Boot speed is only a measure of the exercise that the developers did to not start applications until after the logon menu appears. And then, only the desktop ones.

    On my system, Fedora 11 (beta) boots at the same speed as Ubuntu 9.

    I appreciate more the quality of the interface for the same desktop. Fedora Gnome to me seems to be better organized.

    I have lockup issues with Ubuntu 9, and none so far with Fedora 11.

  17. Continuing...

    I don't boot 5 times a day, but once a day to pickup some patches, or to use the system. So Fedora 11 is booted on even days, and Ubuntu on odd days.

    What is 5 seconds difference in a life-time.

    Write about what works in one and not in the other, and what can be done to make both the Fedora and Ubuntu versions work flawlessly.

  18. Thanks for the test.