Debian/Ubuntu Boot Performance Sprint Summary

Robbie Williamson robbie at
Fri Jun 26 20:55:16 BST 2009

June 22-23, 2009

Colin Watson (Ubuntu)
Kel Modderman (Debian)
Luk Claes (Debian)
Michael Biebl (Debian)
Petter Reinholdtsen (Debian)
Robbie Williamson (Ubuntu)
Scott James Remnant (Ubuntu)
Steve Langasek (Ubuntu)

Come together as a joint Debian/Ubuntu team with the goal of improving
boot performance in both distributions.

Canonical's Millbank Office, London, UK

Early this year, Mark Shuttleworth suggested that developers from Ubuntu and
Debian, interested in boot performance, get together and figure out how both
distributions can work to improve the boot process. Over the next few months, we
(in Ubuntu) reached out and convinced a small group of Debian developers to join
us in a boot performance sprint.  This sprint took place earlier this week, and
the results were extremely positive.

During the sprint, we covered the current boot speed of Ubuntu and Debian,
reviewed bootchart data, and analyzed any performance issues observed. The topic
of discussion then turned to the future plans of the boot process within Ubuntu
and Debian, specifically around the use of sysvinit or upstart. Scott James
Remnant stated that he expects to have the entire Ubuntu boot sequence
transitioned over to upstart by 10.04, with some work already planned for the
9.10 cycle.

We expressed our interest in contributing back this code to Debian, if they were
interested in eventually doing the same, i.e. moving away from sysvinit.  While
initially, and justifiably, concerned with such a move, Petter Reinholdtsen,
Debian's sysvinit package maintainer, opened the door to discussing a process to
make this transition. From there, we began to create the plan for how such a
transition could occur, carefully considering the implications for Debian users,
the code changes required, tools that would need to be created, and most
importantly, how to continue working together post-sprint.

We agreed to bring this forward at DebConf for further analysis, and continue
working together towards improving the boot performance for users of both Debian
and Ubuntu.  For those interested in assisting in/following this effort, we will
continue our talks at DebConf09:
Furthermore, the raw notes from the sprint can be obtained at:
with continued discussions being held on:
    * IRC: #pkg-sysvinit at OFTC & #upstart#Freenode
    * Mailing List: initscripts-ng-devel at

Thanks to Canonical for sponsoring the event, and to the participating Debian
and Ubuntu developers for committing time from their busy schedules to attend
the sprint.


Robbie Williamson                     		    robbie at
Ubuntu Foundations Team Manager             robbiew[]

"You can't be lucky all the time, but you can be smart everyday"
 -Mos Def

"Arrogance is thinking you are better than everyone else, while
Confidence is knowing no one else is better than you." -Me ;)

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