5 Ways To Make Linux Boot Faster

Danny Stieben 17-03-2012

make linux boot fasterLinux users are quite proud of the fact that Linux is pretty darn fast when compared to other operating systems. Not only that, but Linux doesn’t seem to suffer much of the same “bogging down” effect that Windows gets when you have hundreds of applications installed on the system.


However, the speed addicts who use Linux (and you may be one of them) always need to find new ways to make their system go even faster. If you begin this mission of ultimate speed, looking at your boot speed may be a good place to start.

Turn Off Services

make linux boot faster
Turning off unneeded services and startup applications is a simple tip that works for all operating systems. The less the system has to load upon bootup, the less time it will take until it’s done. It’s quite simple math, really.

Make sure to look at your startup applications to see if you can uncheck any that you don’t immediately need at bootup. If you’re very savvy, you can also disable certain system services and disable kernel drivers that you won’t need. However, if you don’t know how to do this, or don’t know what to do with the Google results, it’s best to just let services and drivers be. The default set should be just fine.

Choose Lightweight Alternatives

how to make linux boot faster
Is there a service that you absolutely need? If this is the case, then you may want to look into more lightweight alternatives to your current program that is giving you the service you need. That way, you don’t have to sacrifice the convenience of that service by disabling it completely, but you can still decrease your boot time.

Common changes including switching your desktop environment to LXDE Lubuntu: A Lightweight Version Of Ubuntu [Linux] Love Ubuntu, but feel skeptical about 11.04's new Unity interface? Try Lubuntu 11.04, an extremely lightweight alternative to the main branch of Ubuntu. You'll find the menu-driven interface familiar and the resources hit remarkably low.... Read More or other lightweight alternatives.


Keep Track Of Updates

Updates are also very important, and is a great tip for those who haven’t been using Linux for long. As Linux distributions tend to update literally every component of the system (and the installed applications), including the kernel itself, it’s very important to install the updates. These updates can include optimizations or other changes that could decrease boot time.

Microsoft usually wants to touch the Windows kernel as few times as possible in the form of updates to keep the system changes very stable over the course of the OS’s lifetime, but in the Linux world developers are far more ready to add positive changes to any package.

Clean Out Some Crap

make linux boot faster
Cleaning out your system from time to time is just as effective in shaving off seconds in your boot time. Tools such as the command line, Ubuntu Tweak Gain More Control Of Your Ubuntu System With Ubuntu Tweak [Linux] The popular Linux distribution is fun to mess with and work on, no matter what kind of user you are. However, you may be interested in controlling your system even more to get the absolute... Read More , or BleachBit BleachBit - A Utility To Clean Up Your Linux System Read More can all help with this, cleaning out old cache files, unneeded packages, and old backup kernels that you’ll most likely never need again. With less crud on the hard drive, your system can boot faster, and it will be more responsive during regular use. Plus it might keep you more sane as well.

Upgrade Your Hardware

Speaking of hard drives, you may want to consider upgrading your hard drive to one that has a higher RPM rate, a higher SATA data transfer rate (if supported by the motherboard), or a sold state drive. If the hard drive you’re booting off of is faster, Linux will most likely boot faster as well.


If you’d also like to, upgrading other hardware components will be beneficial as well. Sometimes, it’s the hardware which limits the speed, not the software.


Linux is extremely versatile, letting you do virtually whatever you want with it. The modular structure is also very helpful, letting you replace clunky parts of the system with more efficient ones. With these tips, hopefully you can gain a little more speed with this great operating system.

Have you got any more tips to decrease Linux boot time? Do you have any feedback about the tips I have shared here? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Arjun Bajaj
    April 8, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I get a 30 second boot time on Ubuntu 12.04, which for me is pretty awesome. And it shuts down in less than 20 seconds.

    Although I like to keep my Ubuntu clean, i dont want to compromise on the looks and feels of it.

  2. Las Vegas Maids
    April 5, 2012 at 8:24 am

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  3. bennypr0fane
    March 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    - apt-get autoremove and apt-get autoclean are fast and effective commands to get rid of unneeded packages, and built-in to Ubuntu and all its derivatives. I'm pretty sure most distro have some sort of equivalent.
    -And yes, go for a light desktop!
    KDE and Gnome by now easily match Windows when it comes to hunger for resources. There are plenty of lightweight alternatives, though admittedly none as polished and full-featured as the big 2.
    If you do use an alternative desktop, make sure not to boot gnome or kde applications at startup, because they will load the relative libraries as well, adding to boot time (but then again, that's how much longer it will take to load that app when you do it later....).
    - I can also confirm the huge benefit that comes from a faster harddrive. Actually most of the speed I gained after installing my new Linux came from the fact that I put it on a brand new, speedier Samsung hdd.

  4. Susendeep Dutta
    March 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I would like to make some correction in your article.Under the heading "Upgrade Your Hardware",in the second line,its solid state drive.The word "sold" needs to be corrected.

  5. Abdus Syakuur
    March 19, 2012 at 6:11 am


  6. alexister
    March 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    How about creating more swap space for your partition and using a package called Orphanage?

    • Danny Stieben
      March 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Orphanage? Never heard of that one before...what does it do?

      • alexister
        March 19, 2012 at 12:04 am

        I think it removes orphans packages, obsolete packages, and people usually choose Orphanage over Computer Janitor.

  7. Rich
    March 18, 2012 at 2:54 am

    LXDE boots crazy fast and works amazingly on a netbook. If I need speed I definitely go for it.

  8. Trevor L
    March 18, 2012 at 2:02 am

    e4rat works wonders if you're using the ext4 filesystem

    • Danny Stieben
      March 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Hmmm, although its a pretty technical solution, it does look promising. Thanks for the tip, Trevor!

      • Jeff
        March 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

        Do not use e4rat with an SSD or hybrid drive, defragmenting will not help them and will harm them.

        Other than that it works well, I know people who have cut 40% or more off their boot time.