Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix is Great: But, Its Boot Time is Disappointing

I spent the weekend playing with the recently released Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix edition on my Acer Aspire One netbook. This model is the first generation model that came with 512MB system RAM and an 8GB SSD (Solid State Drive — aka flash drive).

Let’s get something out the way right away: I think Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (UNR) is great! But, that doesn’t mean it is perfect. I’m going devote a couple of blog items here to UNR’s pros and cons this week. But, to avoid overwhelming this blog with UNR related items, I’m going to post “overflow” items over on my personal blog (MobileViews.com/blog). So, you might want to visit that site for smaller items like the odd zero percent battery situation I ran into. You might also want to follow my tweets (@toddogasawara) as I note items in near-real-time (tweet-time) there.

So, back to UNR’s boot time. One of the things I remember reading about URN before its release is that it was supposed to have a blazing fast boot time. Well, according to what I found, that isn’t the case for an SSD-based Aspire One. As you can see in the video embedded above, my netbook took a hair over 36 seconds to get from a cold-start to UNR’s login screen. It takes another 20 seconds (not shown in the video) to get from login to UNR’s graphical user interface.

Linpus Linux Lite (which was the OS that shipped with my Aspire One) boots in about 18 seconds. So, UNR’s almost minute long boot time is not very impressive. It is even less impressive when considering that Windows XP takes about 45 seconds to boot on a hard drive based Asus Eee PC 1000H netbook.

I hope we see better UNR boot times after netbook manufacturers get a chance to tweak it for their specific systems.