1 second Linux boot to Qt!

At the end of last year, to demonstrate my company’s swiftBoot service, I put together a rather impressive demo. Using a Renesas MS7724 development board I was able to achieve a one second cold Linux boot to a Qt application. Here’s the demo…

Many people see a demo like this and assume there are ‘smoke and mirrors’ or that we’ve implemented a suspend to disk solution. This is genuinely a cold boot including UBoot (2009-01), Linux kernel (2.6.31-rc7) and Qt Embedded Open Source 4.6.2. We’ve not applied any specific intellectual property but instead spent time analysing where boot delays are coming from and simply optimising them away. The majority of the modifications we make usually fall into the category of ‘removing things that aren’t required’, ‘optimising things that are required’, or ‘taking a new approach to solving problems’ and are tailored very precisely to the needs of the ‘product’.

If you’re interested in exactly what modification I made and a little more about the approach taken – you may be interested in these slides which I presented at ELC-E 2010 – I’m also expecting a video of this presentation to appear on Free Electrons in the near future.

You may also remember my last demo based on an OMAP3530 EVM. [© 2011 embedded-bits.co.uk]

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About Andrew Murray

Andrew is an experienced commercial Linux developer with a first class degree in Software Engineering and is the founder of Embedded Bits Limited. His day-to-day role fulfils his passion for learning and provides him with plenty of embedded Linux experience including kernel and embedded applications development on a wide variety of platforms. He loves to talk about boot time reduction and has performed a number of presentations on the topic at technical conferences - he has also been successful in achieving sub-second cold boot on Linux based products. Feel free to drop him an email at amurray@embedded-bits.co.uk

50 Responses to “1 second Linux boot to Qt!”

  1. Joey January 14, 2011 at 12:11 am # Reply

    Sick, just sick!
    Some great work!
    You should look and see how much optimization you could do on server and desktop/laptop systems on regular distro’s, that would be great!

  2. J. Onoma January 14, 2011 at 12:17 am # Reply

    Serious kudos! BTW: How did you interface the camera to this board? Which LCD did you use?

  3. shahk January 14, 2011 at 6:25 am # Reply

    Very nice work

  4. Name(required) January 14, 2011 at 7:19 am # Reply

    Can you provide the video and slides for people who don’t do flash?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash#Open_web_versus_proprietary_plugins

  5. ethana2 January 14, 2011 at 8:12 am # Reply

    What on *earth* is that 1000 ms waste? I have an Intel X-25M SSD running Ubuntu, that second spent doing nothing is insane!

  6. Bent Hansen January 14, 2011 at 9:21 am # Reply

    Looks nice, but maybe you should optimize the touch screenspeed instead, there is quite a delay when you press the screen.

    A speed up there, makes a lot more sense than the booting time.

  7. Hrafnkell January 14, 2011 at 11:18 am # Reply

    I am also interested in the hardware side of this – what display are you using with the dev board?

  8. Fefe January 14, 2011 at 11:28 am # Reply

    My Macbook Pro boots faster.

    • Mike January 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm # Reply

      RIGHT!!!!!!!!

    • Pankaj January 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm # Reply

      Really??? Not mine :(

    • iBlonde January 20, 2011 at 8:36 am # Reply

      Liar like an apple eater !!!

  9. someone January 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm # Reply

    I wish my Android was so fast booting.

  10. Leigh Porter January 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm # Reply

    I think Android devs need to do a little of this.. May tablet takes about 30 seconds to boot!

  11. Nils January 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm # Reply

    I think my coffeemaker takes longer to boot ;)

  12. Deafboy January 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm # Reply

    Theese guys are masters of the universe. My TV (Samsung) is booting around 5-6 seconds…

  13. Matthew C. Tedder January 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm # Reply

    So.. Can we use this to make a new FYETI (F* You Evil Telecom Industry) device?

  14. Micha January 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm # Reply

    Very Impressive!
    My Android Phone needs around a minute to boot…

  15. Eds January 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm # Reply

    That’s amazing!
    Could you please tell me/us what display are you using?
    Thanks for SouthAmerica!

    • God January 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm # Reply

      “Thanks for SouthAmerica!”

      You’re welcome!

  16. steffen January 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm # Reply

    on a standard system you save big time by disabling console output and reducing hundreds of lines of init shellscript into the single page that is usually needed for the 5 services that joe average is running. linux itself is also rather fast if you’re not unlucky with drivers. BIOS and init script bloat are the main problems.

  17. BerndhateineFrage January 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm # Reply

    This thing needs 8 kw ? Means this Kilowatt?

    • ct January 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm # Reply

      I don’t think so. Giving it 8kilowatt would burn that thing before it can boot

    • Ben January 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm # Reply

      It’s a demo application for a home automation system, I presume the “home” is using 8KW, with the total usage for that day being 120KWh.

  18. sisirnath January 15, 2011 at 7:46 am # Reply

    cool to see the sub-second boot. How did you manage to get two lines (text wrap) on a button ? I tried to get around it but was not able to find a standard way to do, Can you PLS throw some light on it.

    • Andy January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am # Reply

      From memory I believe it was an ActionButton.

  19. Aras January 19, 2011 at 5:17 am # Reply

    Very Cool!

  20. ds October 16, 2012 at 7:52 am # Reply

    Is it possible o get the source code of the Qt demo?

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