Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How To Cut Your Linux PC’s Boot Time in Half With E4rat


Linux is pretty quick to boot on modern computers, but why not pare it down some more? If you’re hurting from a lack of SSD or just want to boot faster, E4rat will easily shave down your boot time.
E4rat and Your Linux PC

E4rat is a utility that’s designed to cut your Linux boot time drastically. Essentially you show it what you do when you start your computer normally, and it analyzes the files you access and use. Then, it’ll move them to the beginning of your hard disk so that it takes less time to find them during boot.

E4rat is designed to work with Ext4 partitions only. If you’re using another file system, this isn’t for you. There are reports of it working with LVM but your mileage may vary, so be careful if you have sensitive data.

Furthermore, if you have an SSD, you should stay away from this. Because E4rat moves files for a better seek time, SSD uses won’t see any benefit as their “seek” time is unaffected by this. By moving files and performing extended writes, you may even end up damaging your already-blazing-fast drive.
Installing E4rat on Ubuntu

E4rat is available as a .deb package for Ubuntu users. If you’re running another Linux distro you’ll have to compile E4rat from source, but things should work fine and you can still largely follow this guide. The only real exception is for people who use Debian – take a look at this note before you continue. For our step-by-step guide, we’ll assume you’re running Ubuntu Natty (11.04).

Read more: How-to geek

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