[OpenBIOS] yeeee ha!

Erwin Rol erwin at muffin.org
Wed Mar 22 00:02:09 CET 2000

"Ronald G. Minnich" wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Mar 2000, Erwin Rol wrote:
> > What times are we talking about ?
> really slow!
> > Could you give any benchmarks ? like how long it takes from turning on
> > the
> > computer until init is called ?
> right now the gunzip step takes up to ONE MINUTE. I've got something set
> up wrong, and I hear that there is a needed step in the PII to make it
> "run fast". It seems to be running at 8086 speeds ...
Hmmm that sucks :-/ but i am sure it is just a mather of time before 
you (or someone else) will find the problem.

> >
> > It would be _very_ interesting to have a (custom) init running within 2
> > second or less
> > after powerup, could you see this happening ?
> I think it is possible.
> The big issue is bandwidth to the NVRAM. You need to suck 512K out of the
> NVRAM. If the NVRAM has 1 MB/sec bandwidth, this step takes 1/2 second. If
> we had 16 MB/second nvram, then obviously we're faster.
> Sad to say, there's only an 8-bit path to NVRAM. And flash is slow. This
> is a long-term problem.
> The faster the NVRAM, the better.
Not much one can do about the hardware, appart from choosing the

> > (of course that will exclude slow starting things like SCSI controlers
> > and the like,
> > and no auto probing , everything preconfigured in the kernel)
> >From what I'm seeing the scsi is slow but not terrible. The scsi bioses
> stink, though.
Time for a open SCSI BIOS :-) ?

> ron
> p.s. my goal for a cluster node is cold boot in 7 seconds, reboot in 5
> seconds. I think it's quite possible.

Hmmm that will be the absolute maxium. 
And what do you understand in "cold boot"?
This is what happens:

1) reset/poweron
2) BIOS sets up hardware
3) BIOS loads/unzips kernel in RAM
4) BIOS jumps to kernel
5) kernel sets up the hardware 
6) kernel creates the init process
7) init starts the application processes

Ofcourse step 6 and 7 depend on where you load those applications from
slow floppy, HD, FLASH disk, CMOS-RAM disk etc. 

so what is included in your 5-7 seconds ? :-) Faster is better.
the best would be an up and running X11 desktop with netscape and all
within 500 mseconds  :-) 

- Erwin

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