7 second boot?

Today, the OpenSolaris “Hello, World” published on Slashdot
had this to say:

…Some other highlights include the GRUB bootloader, SMF (Service Management Facility) which replaces init.d scripts, it starts up processes in parallel for faster boots (7 second boot on a dual opteron workstation I think that was the setup) as well as providing features for automatically restarting…

This link generated a massive 4000 hits to my ‘blog today, putting me #3 in the
blogs.sun.com ranking. I even got an attaboy from
MaryMary! While I’m certainly flattered, I felt that
these hits were perhaps undeserved– the claim was so provocative that people just had
to click it. We’ve never made such a claim, though everything else in the sentence is basically
correct (see these experts to learn more about
new boot and

So where did that figure of seven seconds come from? Well, we can boot a
Solaris Zone in seven seconds– and
by “boot” I mean we go from nothing to having dtlogin up in 7 seconds
on a uniprocessor Opteron system (a stock ShuttlePC under my desk). Here
is the proof
. That said, we do
boot pretty quickly on an Opteron system,
although you do wind up spending a lot of time waiting around for the BIOS to initialize before the
OS ever gets started.

I hope that clears things up. Maybe someday we really will have a seven second boot!

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