Now that I've moved to a new organization where running Linux on the desktop is not just okay, but common, I'm running Windows and Linux on the same laptop. This seems like an excellent opportunity to re-compare the boot times for each operating system, on the same hardware, both booting from the hard drive.
First, let's talk about the system. This is a Dell Latitude E6410 laptop, our standard model for laptops at this organization. It has these specs:
- Intel Core i5 CPU
- 4GB memory
- 160GB hard drive
- nVidia graphics card GT218 [NVS 3100M]
- Intel 82577LM Gigabit ethernet
- Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 wireless
Not a bad system, as laptops go. I mentioned in my last post that the only thing I don't like about this laptop is the nVidia graphics card, since I have to use nVidia's proprietary driver for graphics to work reliably. Windows is also running nVidia's driver, so both operating systems are running with the same configuration.
My last post covered the installation details pretty well: over 6 hours to get Windows working from a fresh install (not including applications such as Office), about 20 minutes to install Linux (including bundled applications, like OpenOffice.) What I failed to note in that post, and it's important here, is that the Windows side is not encrypted, but the Linux side is (you can select that at install-time.)
So for the purposes of this test, Windows will have a slight advantage in that none of its operating system files are encrypted. Windows can just read the data from disk, and go. But Linux will have an extra step to decrypt each bit of data. Finally for you Windows fans, if there's any question of one side having an advantage over the other, it's Windows that gets the benefit of the doubt.
Since I'm running a dual-boot configuration, it's easy to be consistent about when to start the timer, when booting the system. After the laptop is powered on, it goes through a Power On Self Test cycle. The time to complete the POST may vary slightly. After the POST, the multi-boot screen comes up. I select the operating system to boot, press Return, and simultaneously start my stopwatch. I keep the stopwatch running while the system boots, until the www.google.com front page comes up in Firefox.
Let's get to the numbers:
I booted each system twice, to make sure my timings were consistent.
Total: 1 minute, 55 seconds (115 seconds). And 1 minute, 52 seconds (112 seconds).
Linux (Fedora 13)
Total: 48 seconds, and 44 seconds.
It's hard to argue with numbers, people.