boot speed

Help with booting MiniMyth

Moderator: Pablo

redcane
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boot speed

Post by redcane » Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:36 am

I've done a bit of searching around the forums, to find out if there are things to speed up booting. I've read about the theme caching, so that we don't regenerate it on each boot (although I haven't been able to get it to save to NFS yet....), but this is a small part of my boot time.

My boot time is just over 5 mins. Probably 20 seconds of that is BIOS, and it spends most of it's time before opening X.

Is this unusual? Have I done something unusually stupid? Is there anything I can do to speed it up?

It's a bit of a wait to watch anything, and I don't want to leave it on all the time, as I'm heading to a solar powered house, and I'd like to save power anywhere I can.

razza
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Post by razza » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:12 pm

Hi, I have just got my system working and a complete newbie - so not tweaked yet, so i'm probably not the best benchmark.

Anyway, my system (EPIA M10000 with 512MB RAM using Minimyth RAM) takes just over 10 minutes to boot, the longest delay was 'Configuring Video' at approx 4 mins.

I'm hoping that this can be reduced dramatically. Would be good to hear from more seasoned/expert users.

Ray

redcane
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Post by redcane » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:19 pm

I forgot to mention, my system is an EPIA Sp13000 with 1Gb RAM, booting with an NFS root. It found NFS seems faster than a RAM boot, because it doesn't need to load whole disk image via tftp as a first step.

Mine seems to spend a lot of time "Configuring Video" as well.... and I'm not sure exactly what is being done at this point.

I'm guessing not a lot of users are turning their maxchines off if this is indicative of the general boot time. Even with this boot time however, I'd rather wait for it to start up, than leave it on.

Perhaps this is more a function of the speed of the EPIA boards? My test rig (a biege box PC) had a celeron 1.3 and an NVIDIA card, and seemed to take much less time configuring video, but a lot more time generating scaled theme images.

Still, it will be good to hear from some more experienced users.

razza
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Post by razza » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:40 pm

redcane wrote:Mine seems to spend a lot of time "Configuring Video" as well.... and I'm not sure exactly what is being done at this point.
I'm guessing it's trying lots of modelines etc. /var/logs/Xorg.... should give a clue, next time i get to play (probably Saturday) i'll try forcing mine and let you know!
redcane wrote:I'm guessing not a lot of users are turning their maxchines off if this is indicative of the general boot time. Even with this boot time however, I'd rather wait for it to start up, than leave it on.
I agree 5 mins is acceptable, time to make a tea/coffee. 10 mins is not.

TBH my network is junk at the mo, mislayed my 24port switch in my house move (i know), so I have a string of begged and borrowed 5/8 port switches lashed together at the moment - hardly a good ref model, but my new switch should be here by the weekend also :)

3d-lee
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boot time

Post by 3d-lee » Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:57 am

SP13000 w/ 1G ram
display output is composite 720x480Over
NFS rootfs using 0.20-25

28 seconds from poweron until it DHCPs. Exactly 1 minute later the myth menu is up.

3d-lee
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boot time -- switches

Post by 3d-lee » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:38 am

BTW, unless there is something seriously wrong with the switches it shouldn't make that much difference if you are going through one switch or if you are going through 20 of them. I suppose if you have extremely high traffic levels between two of the switches that is in addition to the minimyth boot traffic you could see a slowdown too but it would need to be aweful high.

Of course if one or more of them isn't a switch but is a hub then the problem potential gets much worse. Or perhaps something is wrong/flawed with the autonegotiation of one of the switches and one side of a link is running at half duplex and the other is at full -- that would be the worst scenario but then again it shouldn't happen unless one of the switches is flawed.

3d-lee
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boot time

Post by 3d-lee » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:34 am

I just updated to the latest -- 0.20.1-26 and I get basically the same performance. 62 seconds after the system DHCPs the mythtv menu is fully up and available for a total boot time of 90 seconds from touching the power button.

razza
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Post by razza » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:26 pm

Thats significatly faster than mine and indeed 'redcane'. I can see that your board/proc is faster but wow. Maybe i'll move over to NFS to see if things improve.

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Post by Pablo » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:24 pm

I am not sure what the problem is. However, it might be the Myth backend database access that the init scripts are doing. I have hacked in a change that moves the database changes to one place at the end of the init process and I have included the hack in the latest test release (0.21.1-27b5). Could you give it a try?
MiniMyth running on an Acer ApireRevo 3610 and a Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U. Find out more at my MythTV page.

redcane
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Re: boot time

Post by redcane » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:04 am

3d-lee wrote:I just updated to the latest -- 0.20.1-26 and I get basically the same performance. 62 seconds after the system DHCPs the mythtv menu is fully up and available for a total boot time of 90 seconds from touching the power button.
Well, it'd be interesting to analyse the difference between our setups, since we both have the same boards, with 1Gb RAM, both using NFS root. I think I am using 720x480Noscale.

Pablo: I'll try the latest beta when I next get a chance. Although, it doesn't seem to spend much time with the MythTV backend setup on startup. It just takes a lot longer than I expected on each of the smaller items (X setup, VFD/LCD, resetting configuration vars, loading them etc).

I'll report back when I have more info.

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Re: boot time

Post by Pablo » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:20 pm

redcane wrote:Pablo: I'll try the latest beta when I next get a chance. Although, it doesn't seem to spend much time with the MythTV backend setup on startup. It just takes a lot longer than I expected on each of the smaller items (X setup, VFD/LCD, resetting configuration vars, loading them etc).
In the version that you are using, there are database updates performed by each of the init scripts. In the latest test version all the database updates are moved into one script.
MiniMyth running on an Acer ApireRevo 3610 and a Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U. Find out more at my MythTV page.

razza
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Post by razza » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:59 pm

Pablo, fantastic job. On my M10000 with 512MB RAM using Minimyth RAM-0.21.1-27b5 it was about 2 mins from power button to prescaling images. About 4 mins in total.

Glad you sorted this as I have been getting nowhere with NFS all day!
Thanks again!

Pablo
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Post by Pablo » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:43 pm

razza wrote:Pablo, fantastic job. On my M10000 with 512MB RAM using Minimyth RAM-0.21.1-27b5 it was about 2 mins from power button to prescaling images. About 4 mins in total.

Glad you sorted this as I have been getting nowhere with NFS all day!
Thanks again!
Thank you for testing it. Now that I know that accessing the MythTV backend database is the problem, I will work out a cleaner solution than the one that I quickly hacked into the image for testing.

Also, if you save the scaled theme, then pre-scaling should be sped up.
MiniMyth running on an Acer ApireRevo 3610 and a Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U. Find out more at my MythTV page.

razza
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Post by razza » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:53 pm

Pablo wrote:I quickly hacked into the image for testing.
OK now I know why all my media shares disappeared!
Pablo wrote:if you save the scaled theme, then pre-scaling should be sped up.
I had read this somewhere but hadn't got that far, i'm a newbie!

But looks like a fantastic project!

redcane
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Post by redcane » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:53 am

I've tried 27b6, and It boots in about 3:20 now! This is much improved. I'll take some more time to see what is the longest part of the process soon. I still have not managed to save my theme cache, or at least, not so it works! It keeps complaining about not being able to write to TFTP, when I have my theme cache directory pointed to an NFS location...

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