Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Linux 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
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
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 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
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, or BleachBit 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!