When you power on your system, you wait for the manufacturer’s logo to come up, a few messages on the screen perhaps (booting in insecure mode), Grub screen, operating system loading screen and finally the login screen.
Did you check how long did it take? Perhaps not. Unless you really need to know, you won’t bother with the boot time details.
But what if you are curious to know long long your Linux system takes to boot? Running a stopwatch is one way to find that but in Linux, you have better and easier ways to find out your system’s start up time.
Checking boot time in Linux with systemd-analyze
Like it or not, systemd is running on most of the popular Linux distributions. The systemd has a number of utilities to manage your Linux system. One of those utilities is systemd-analyze.
The systemd-analyze command gives you a detail of how many services ran at the last start up and how long they took.
If you run the following command in the terminal:
You’ll get the total boot time along with the time taken by firmware, boot loader, kernel and the userspace:
Startup finished in 7.275s (firmware) + 13.136s (loader) + 2.803s (kernel) + 12.488s (userspace) = 35.704s
graphical.target reached after 12.408s in userspace
As you can see in the output above, it took about 35 seconds for my system to reach the screen where I could enter my password. I am using Dell XPS Ubuntu edition. It uses SSD storage and despite of that it takes this much time to start.
Not that impressive, is it? Why don’t you share your system’s boot time? Let’s compare.
You can further breakdown the boot time into each unit with the following command:
This will produce a huge output with all the services listed in the descending order of the time taken.
7.347s plymouth-quit-wait.service 6.198s NetworkManager-wait-online.service 3.602s plymouth-start.service 3.271s plymouth-read-write.service 2.120s apparmor.service 1.503s [email protected] 1.213s motd-news.service 908ms snapd.service 861ms keyboard-setup.service 739ms fwupd.service 702ms bolt.service 672ms dev-nvme0n1p3.device 608ms [email protected]:intel_backlight.service 539ms snap-core-7270.mount 504ms snap-midori-451.mount 463ms snap-screencloud-1.mount 446ms snapd.seeded.service 440ms snap-gtk\x2dcommon\x2dthemes-1313.mount 420ms snap-core18-1066.mount 416ms snap-scrcpy-133.mount 412ms snap-gnome\x2dcharacters-296.mount
Please keep in mind that the services run in parallel.
Bonus Tip: Improving boot time
If you look at this output, you can see that both network manager and plymouth take a huge bunch of boot time.
Plymouth is responsible for that boot splash screen you see before the login screen in Ubuntu and other distributions. Network manager is responsible for the internet connection and may be turned off to speed up boot time. Don’t worry, once you log in, you’ll have wifi working normally.
sudo systemctl disable NetworkManager-wait-online.service
If you want to revert the change, you can use this command:
sudo systemctl enable NetworkManager-wait-online.service
Now, please don’t go disabling various services on your own without knowing what it is used for. It may have dangerous consequences.
Similarly, you can also use systemd to investigate why your Linux system takes a long time to shut down.
Now that you know how to check the boot time of your Linux system, why not share your system’s boot time in the comment section?