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LiveCDs bootup speed comparison

I've compared several LiveCDs regarding bootup screen. Since different CDs use different Desktop Enviroments, I've measured the time from bootup to console login screen (tty1). While there, I've measured the time to get a full loaded desktop. The results are simply stunning.

  • Login screen: 01:53
  • Desktop: 02:51

  • Login screen: 00:47
  • Desktop: 02:04

  • Login screen: 00:29
  • Desktop: 00:58


  • Phaeronix uses Gnome
  • Slax uses KDE
  • Archie uses XFCE


  • The time it takes to reach the login screen is independent on the Desktop Enviroment.
  • Slax doesn't have autologin, so I had to type the username and password and then type "startx". All included in the 2:04, so you can detuct like 4 seconds to be 2:00
  • Archie uses complete bootsplash, you don't get to see any scrolling text yet it boots AMAZINLY fast.

Conclusion: Archie is an unprecedented phenomena!

Machine Specs

Here's the machine relevant specs

  • 1 GHz processor with 256K cache
  • 192 MB of RAM
  • 52X CDROM

BTW, I've done the measurements twice.

phaeronix's picture

Nice work

At last someone comes up with something useful to help me :)

I don't have the time to test all the livecds in the world and improve mine :)

Ok newcomer you chose to compare with the two fastest livecds you could find :) . Anyway I accept the challenge.

let me reflect on the measurements.

  • Note that bootsplash doesn't affect boot speed. It's just eyecandy.
  • my GNOME and slax's KDE started equally fast. XFCE is not comparable, because where it makes up with speed, it looses to usability. However next version of phaeronix will have light desktop as an option.
  • neither slax nor archie provide the nvidia 3d accelerated drivers. The drivers take some time to load after hardware detection, and even more time during starting X. That's why it takes so long from boot to login.
  • I looked at archie's page. and saw they are using a tool called lshwd as a replacement to knoppix's hwsetup. it's much faster in detecting the hardware, so it is responsible for the amazing bootup speed. I might use it if it proves to be as good as hwsetup in detecting ardware.

Excpect my next version to boot much faster , specially if you use blackbox , and to a lesser extent xfce. :)

ShErbO's picture

Excellent Idea

NewComer, I think this comparison is really useful. Keep up the good work :)

thank you for the kind words.

thank you for the kind words.

Archie's performance is mainly thanks to Arch - KISS philosophy always proves itself in terms of performance also.

lshwd is just one "screw" in the wonderful Arch machine - now updated btw to 2.0-rc3 (supports subvendor/subdevice IDs).

greetings from Israel :) z4ziggy

phaeronix's picture

I used to do LFS livecds. The

I used to do LFS livecds. They were unsurpassed in terms of performance. but maintainance was a nightmare. I switched to gentoo because portage is good. Anyway I know that the nvidia driver activation does take a lot of time. ( not fun having to switch glx so and doing ldconfig on a CD ).

z4ziggy here is the main Arch

z4ziggy here is the main Archie developer. I have a couple of questions for you z4ziggy

Is Archie compressed? Maybe the speed is attributed to that. Archie is 332MB (I'm sure I downloaded even a much larger iso) while Slax popcorn is just 124MB

Second, What about seeing full Arabic support in Archie? I guess you already have experience with RTL languages (atleast Hebrew) and Arabic won't be much extra work. I would have helped out if had the knowledge but I don't yet I'm sure that others here can help.

I'm not talking about translated interface, I'm talking about browsing arabic websites, viewing arabic documents and arabic filenames.

heya again :) yep, Archie

heya again :)

yep, Archie uses squashfs, which i found to be superior in terms of performance over other compressed filesystems (you can find full info on the Archie forums, where i posted all the steps i had to go thru). slax popcorn is smaller though it uses same combo as Archie (unionfs+squahsfs) but has less packages installed, and also im guessing Tomas manually compiles his packages while Archie goal is to deliver 100% Arch unpatched packages and system.

regarding the language support - you already can :) ive included ALL languages support (both language and keyboard mapping) - simply use the bootup menu (type "menu" on the CD startup) and select your language :) i have tested it already successfully with hebrew, arabic, italian, russian, and some more weird languages, all worked fine (as far as i know).

just as a sidenote - the Archie project allows creating your own customized livecd (several distros are already Archie based - Ufficio Zero, Sivo, and others), so you are very encouraged to make your own customized cd, with the default settings (someone said Arabic? :-) of your choice.

hope to see you soon on the Archie forums :)

regards, z4ziggy

phaeronix's picture

Well I add lots of custom pat

Well I add lots of custom patches and settings, fonts and stuff specific to arabic support. These things may or may not be accepted upstream, but my main aim is maximum arabic support.

Arabic support in linux is not as fortunate as hebrew (despite the many similarities), because we have a lack of programmers who understand gnu/linux and are willing to work under the GPL, and linux is still not in widespread use.

It's never over till it's over.

im attaching a screenshot of

phaeronix's picture

Nice to see arabic support ge

Nice to see arabic support getting into other distros. Of course this easier in archie because you aim for hebrew support, which is (again) quite similar to arabic.

but the interface is not the only checkpoint in a distro's language support. For example I didn't remove any languages from the packages I compiled. That means the interface can be viewed in a lot of languages. Yet I don't claim to support hebrew or chinese, because I don't know anything about these languages, their problems, and the needs of their users.

However, I strive to get as much proper arabic support into phaeronix as I can. I also add any functional software made by our programmers. Katoob made by Uniball is an example.

Other checkpoints in language support would be basically, default configurations , filename readibility, console and terminal support to name a few. More exotic things would be subtitle support, fully translated interfaces, and extra fonts ( for different purposes ).

Of course I don't claim *perfect* support even for arabic. Everyday I discover new bugs and work on fixing them.

It's never over till it's over.

Alaa's picture

you might be doing this already

a good thing to do that will benefit the whole community and not just phaeronix users is to document the varios little things you did to create a comfortable arabic environement.

for instance the preconfigured gnome-terminal profile with bicon was a brilliant idea and an instant hit among the miniaweya.


"i`m feeling for the 2nd time like alice in wonderland reading el wafd"

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