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Thread: Slow boot and old kernels

  1. #1

    Default Slow boot and old kernels

    I have a problem with my OpenSUSE 13.1 install. It's not a big problem but somewhat irritating. Booting goes fine until "Loading initial ramdisk" shows up and then it's a 20s pause doing nothing. It then starts normally. What can I do to speed it up?

    My second problem is maybe related to the first: I can not uninstall the old kernel! I have two kernels installed (13.11.10 and 13.11.6) and if I try to remove 13.11.6 in Yast it complains about dependencies and refuses to delete it. if I keep booth versions installed everything is alright. Well, except for the slow boot.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by fhansson View Post
    I have a problem with my OpenSUSE 13.1 install. It's not a big problem but somewhat irritating. Booting goes fine until "Loading initial ramdisk" shows up and then it's a 20s pause doing nothing. It then starts normally. What can I do to speed it up?
    You could uninstall plymouth to get a smaller initrd. It should then load faster.
    But you would loose the boot splash in that case of course.

    Maybe a BIOS update might help as well. Or try a different Boot loader (YaST->System->Boot Loader).

    My second problem is maybe related to the first: I can not uninstall the old kernel! I have two kernels installed (13.11.10 and 13.11.6) and if I try to remove 13.11.6 in Yast it complains about dependencies and refuses to delete it. if I keep booth versions installed everything is alright. Well, except for the slow boot.
    The number of kernels that are installed should NOT have any influence at the boot time, since only one kernel/initrd is loaded anyway.

    Regarding the dependency conflict:
    I suppose you have some kernel modules for the 3.11.6 kernel installed. You have to remove those as well when you uninstall the kernel.
    What exact conflicts do you get?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    On 2014-05-17 17:26, fhansson wrote:
    >
    > I have a problem with my OpenSUSE 13.1 install. It's not a big problem
    > but somewhat irritating. Booting goes fine until "Loading initial
    > ramdisk" shows up and then it's a 20s pause doing nothing. It then
    > starts normally. What can I do to speed it up?


    Is that a text, verbose, mode boot, where no text lines are printed for
    a while, or is it a boot with a graphical display with somekind of
    progress bar that appears to do nothing?

    >
    > My second problem is maybe related to the first: I can not uninstall the
    > old kernel! I have two kernels installed (13.11.10 and 13.11.6) and if I
    > try to remove 13.11.6 in Yast it complains about dependencies and
    > refuses to delete it. if I keep booth versions installed everything is
    > alright. Well, except for the slow boot.


    Should have no effect on boot speed.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  4. #4

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfi323 View Post
    You could uninstall plymouth to get a smaller initrd. It should then load faster.
    But you would loose the boot splash in that case of course.

    Maybe a BIOS update might help as well. Or try a different Boot loader (YaST->System->Boot Loader).
    OK, I tried GRUB but the result is almost the same. It stops at "initrd vmlinuz.. something" for a while and then continues. I don't know if that is normal since my computer is not very fast, it's an Acer Aspire One Netbook with Intel SSD. I tried Windows 8 and it started in 30 sec to desktop, OpenSUSE is more like 1 min 30 sec which is a bit too long.

    I suppose you have some kernel modules for the 3.11.6 kernel installed. You have to remove those as well when you uninstall the kernel.
    What exact conflicts do you get?
    If I mark it for delete in Yast it complains about a dependency with the "microcode_ctl" package. I removed the package and it seems to work without it but I can not uninstall the old kernel no matter what I do.

    How do I remove the modules? What is the name of the package?

    Thanks!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by fhansson View Post
    OK, I tried GRUB but the result is almost the same. It stops at "initrd vmlinuz.. something" for a while and then continues. I don't know if that is normal since my computer is not very fast, it's an Acer Aspire One Netbook with Intel SSD. I tried Windows 8 and it started in 30 sec to desktop, OpenSUSE is more like 1 min 30 sec which is a bit too long.
    Well, the boot loader has to load the kernel and the initrd. At this point there is no hard disk driver loaded yet (there's not even the kernel loaded of course), so it has to use generic routines, possibly calling the BIOS.
    That's slower of course, and might depend on the specific BIOS.

    But there's no way around that. A different boot loader might do things differently, so maybe try LILO or ELILO.

    Other than that, the only way to speed this up is to make the initrd smaller, by uninstalling plymouth f.e.

    Windows on the other hand does all of this completely different. That might explain why it's faster in your case.

    If I mark it for delete in Yast it complains about a dependency with the "microcode_ctl" package. I removed the package and it seems to work without it but I can not uninstall the old kernel no matter what I do.
    What do you mean with "I can not uninstall the old kernel no matter what I do"? What happens when you try to uninstall it?

    Regarding the microcode_ctl package: this does not exist any more in openSUSE 13.1. So it must be a left-over from an older version.
    And no, you don't need it.

    How do I remove the modules? What is the name of the package?
    There is no single package. The name depends on the module of course.
    F.e. there's the package "virtualbox-host-kmp-xxx" for the virtualbox kernel modules.

    YaST should tell you what requires the kernel package.

    But again, the second kernel has absolutely no impact on your boot speed.
    Last edited by wolfi323; 18-May-2014 at 09:22.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    On 18/05/2014 18:26, wolfi323 wrote:

    > That's slower of course, and might depend on the specific BIOS.


    Not that noticeably slow... at most, 50 MB have to be read. Even if the
    BIOS is 10 times slower, it would be a question of seconds.

    In theory, at least...

    > But there's no way around that. A different boot loader might do things
    > differently, so maybe try LILO or ELILO.
    >
    > Other than that, the only way to speed this up is to make the initrd
    > smaller, by uninstalling plymouth f.e.


    What if there is a problem in the disk itself?

    I would try an fsck of the partition used for booting, preferably run
    from a Linux live cd, and then I would run the short and long SMART
    tests, with "smartctl" (the --help option and the manual page says how).

    --
    Cheers,
    Carlos E. R.
    (W7 - minas-morgul)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 18/05/2014 18:26, wolfi323 wrote:

    > That's slower of course, and might depend on the specific BIOS.


    Not that noticeably slow... at most, 50 MB have to be read. Even if the
    BIOS is 10 times slower, it would be a question of seconds.

    In theory, at least...
    Well, IIRC at least 12.3 beta took quite long to load the kernel/initrd in VirtualBox.
    30s to 1 minute I think. And I think this had to do with the way grub(2) loads the data.

    A similar thing might happen in the OP's case.

    A bad hard disk could be the reason as well of course. But I guess he would have bigger problems then...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfi323 View Post
    Well, the boot loader has to load the kernel and the initrd. At this point there is no hard disk driver loaded yet (there's not even the kernel loaded of course), so it has to use generic routines, possibly calling the BIOS.
    That's slower of course, and might depend on the specific BIOS.

    But there's no way around that. A different boot loader might do things differently, so maybe try LILO or ELILO.

    Other than that, the only way to speed this up is to make the initrd smaller, by uninstalling plymouth f.e.

    Windows on the other hand does all of this completely different. That might explain why it's faster in your case.
    It seems that Intel BIOS, CPU and SSD does not co-op very well with GRUB then. I can live with that.

    What do you mean with "I can not uninstall the old kernel no matter what I do"? What happens when you try to uninstall it?
    If I mark the older version of kernel-default package for Delete in Yast it will install the old kernel as kernel-base package instead. If I mark that for Delete it will install the old version of kernel-default again and I am back at square 1. No matter what I choose to do it will install it somehow anyway.

    Regarding the microcode_ctl package: this does not exist any more in openSUSE 13.1. So it must be a left-over from an older version.
    And no, you don't need it.
    True, I did an upgrade from 12.3 to 13.1 a couple of months ago.

    There is no single package. The name depends on the module of course.
    F.e. there's the package "virtualbox-host-kmp-xxx" for the virtualbox kernel modules.

    YaST should tell you what requires the kernel package.

    But again, the second kernel has absolutely no impact on your boot speed.
    OK, but I think I can live with two kernels as long as it does not impact anything else.

    Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 18/05/2014 18:26, wolfi323 wrote:

    What if there is a problem in the disk itself?

    I would try an fsck of the partition used for booting, preferably run
    from a Linux live cd, and then I would run the short and long SMART
    tests, with "smartctl" (the --help option and the manual page says how).
    Regarding the disk it is an Intel X25-M G2 and the CPU is Intel Atom N270 with Intel 945GSE chipset. OpenSUSE itself is upgraded from 12.3 and installed on an extended partition. It's also resized and moved with GParted at one time. i don't know if that made it slower but I can not remember it was this slow with 12.3 version. Maybe a fresh install of 13.1 would speed things up?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Slow boot and old kernels

    Quote Originally Posted by fhansson View Post
    If I mark the older version of kernel-default package for Delete in Yast it will install the old kernel as kernel-base package instead. If I mark that for Delete it will install the old version of kernel-default again and I am back at square 1. No matter what I choose to do it will install it somehow anyway.
    Ah, ok.
    Something requires the kernel package, so YaST wants to install the kernel-base package instead when you mark it for removal to satisfy the dependencies.
    Right-click on the kernel-default-base package and select "Taboo - Never install". Then mark the older kernel-default package for removal and you should get a conflict resolution dialog that tells you what needs that kernel and should allow you to uninstall that as well.

    Why are you using kernel-default, btw?
    Normally kernel-desktop is installed by default, which is better fine-tuned for desktop (as in desktop environment, not as in desktop vs. laptop/netbook) usage.

    OK, but I think I can live with two kernels as long as it does not impact anything else.
    Well, at least _two_ kernels are kept by default since 12.3.
    The advantage is that you can still boot the older kernel if you experience some problem after a kernel update.

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