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Old 10-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #1
re_nelson
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Registered: Oct 2011
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Distribution: LFS-SVN, Gentoo-2.2 ~amd64, CentOS-6.5, Slackware64-current, FreeBSD-9.2-STABLE
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Slow boot times 14.1 (slackware64-current) on VMWare's vmplayer


Thanks largely to a comment by ReaperX7 in this thread, I've been exploring VMWare's vmplayer in greater depth:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ox-4175481316/

As I noted in one of my comment there, I've been mostly accustomed to Oracle's VirtualBox and, to a lesser extent, to qemu. But motivated by ReaperX7, my rather neglected 64-bit VMWare-6.0.0 was used as the host for slackware64-current, joining the recently upgraded Slackware guests of the same version. I think this allows for an apples to apples comparison to evalute the VMs since the guest systems are the same.

One annoyance with my free VMWare vmplayer is the exceedingly long boot times regardless of whether 3.10.17-huge or 3.10.17-generic is selected as the kernel. It takes an average of 49 seconds from launch to the login prompt on VMWare. In contrast, both VirtualBox (4.3.0) and qemu (1.6.1) take an average of 18 seconds. The services enabled on all three platforms are identical.

The slowdown is apparent with the dots during the kernel uncompression phase. Each dot appears very s-l-o-w-l-y whereas with VBOX and qemu, they just fly by.

Once booted, though, Slackware is very snappy and every bit as fast as with the other two VMs. X11 feels just as responsive as it does on my more familiar VBOX. And I ran some quick comparisons of measuing time (./configure && make) on all three VMs using gawk-4.1.0 -- there's no significant difference among the three -- all report right around 11.5 seconds of wallclock time.

So, overall, I'm pleased with my experience thus far with VMWare except for the sluggish kernel load. I'm not sure if this is a Slackware issue or perhaps my ignorance of tuning VMWare -- thus this lengthy post to seek advice.
 
Old 10-24-2013, 02:02 AM   #2
TracyTiger
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Are you booting with lilo and do you use compact in the lilo.conf file? That usually speeds up booting.
 
Old 10-24-2013, 03:27 AM   #3
re_nelson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Tiger View Post
Are you booting with lilo and do you use compact in the lilo.conf file? That usually speeds up booting.
Bada bing! That sure did the trick -- just 2 dots appear during the Loading stage and the boot is magnitudes faster. After several test restarts, it now takes 16-19 seconds to boot 64-current under vmplayer. I've been using GRUB2 for so long that I forgot the LILO tricks I used to know back in the 90s. Chalk up another case of not RTFM'ing since it's right there in lilo.conf(5):

This drastically reduces load time and keeps the map file smaller

Code:
compact
Tries  to merge read requests for adjacent sectors into a single read request.
This drastically reduces load time and keeps the map file smaller.
...later, I added that compact directive to the LILO configuration for both VirtualBox and qemu. It knocked off about a second on those systems, but the real improvement was fixing the previously glacial boot on VMWare.

Last edited by re_nelson; 10-24-2013 at 03:41 AM. Reason: Noted times on VBOX and qemu
 
  


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