Initng – Next Generation Init System

Over the holidays, both my linux laptops screamed at me for a rebuild. So I rebuilt them. Unfortunately, I ran across the same issue that I had months ago that annoyed the heck out of me. The bootup times for both were especially slow. With the default installation of Debian, the boot up for a PIII was 1:10, and my Celeron 300 was a mere 1:35 or so. After poking around, I optimized my sys V configurations to get it down to around 50-55 seconds per laptop. That was without kernel optimization. I decided to cut down all the services that I didn’t need but it still wasn’t enough.
So I sat down and read some forums. Lo and behold, there was a replacement for the current init system called initng. Having had previous experience with runit and hating the configuration, I dreaded to try this new init. Amazingly enough, it was fairly easy to configure! On a laptop no less!


Here’s what I did with my Sony Vaio PCG-N505VE (Celeron 300 power).

  1. Downloaded the package from initng (Version 0.50 stable at time of post). Debian packages are here (Version 0.48).
  2. Install the package (I did the deb packages due to ease).
  3. Go to /etc/initng and edit the default.runlevel file
  4. add and remove the daemons that you need. By default, it doesn’t run cardmgr and net is for eth0 instead of wlan0. I added those.
  5. if you want a tty1 session then add daemon/getty/tty1 (this is something that apparently the developer’s left out intentionally due to personal preferences)
  6. change your /boot/grub/menu.list and add under #altoptions:
    #altoptions=(linux-initng) init=/sbin/initng
  7. update-grub
  8. reboot
  9. select the the linux-initng kernel version. You can change this to default later after testing it.

Be amazed. I was… with a 24 second bootup by an old laptop. Mileage varies, but it works well with older laptops. Also requires some tweaking of the configurations but if you use standard configurations for your laptop such as network, console and only need the basics to start on bootup, then this is definitely the way to put some fire back into old machinery.
UPDATE (1:32PM): I tested Version 0.50 with Debian. It hoses up due to some bad configuration errors and calls to udev. To remove, you have to remove the following:
  • rm /sbin/system_off /sbin/install_service /sbin/killalli5 /sbin/ng-update /sbin/shutdown_script /sbin/initng-segfault
  • rm -rf /etc/initng
  • rm -rf /lib/initng
    You can reinstall the 0.48 package with no issues. Changelog for 0.50 shows some major changes to the udev calls which is probably the reason it breaks.
    UPDATE (1/26): Now using version 0.52. udev has been fixed. time increased to 36 seconds or so though it’s probably due to udev fix that has prolonged the changes. Demonstrated initng to local LUG (Linux User Group) and they were impressed with it as a useful tool.

  • Initng 0.5.2 should do the job again 🙂
    0.5.0 had some bugs. Plese report to me if you run into problems…

  • Initng 0.5.2 should do the job again 🙂
    0.5.0 had some bugs. Plese report to me if you run into problems…

  • Erik Rydell

    Hi!
    I today met with the developper himself. Yes, that was true fun. I now have tested Initng and will use it, configuring as it comes out.
    /Just go for it!
    Erik Rydell

  • Erik Rydell

    Hi!
    I today met with the developper himself. Yes, that was true fun. I now have tested Initng and will use it, configuring as it comes out.
    /Just go for it!
    Erik Rydell

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