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I can find many tables comparing the specs of the latest development platforms like Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and UlinuXino. However, as all of them run some flavor of Linux, there is going to be some boot time involved before one can launch an application. I have yet to find anyone that compares the boot times of any Linux distro on each of these platforms. Would anyone here be able to point me in the right direction?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the boot time is going to be heavily dependent on how much junk you've got compiled into the kernel and how many modules you are loading at startup. \$\endgroup\$
    – dext0rb
    Jun 18, 2013 at 5:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ You usually optimize the code that is run most of the time. In many applications, but not all, this is not booting. \$\endgroup\$
    – jippie
    Jun 18, 2013 at 5:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can opt for non-OS solutions: link. \$\endgroup\$
    – dawid
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:37

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I don't know any such comprehensive comparison, but hopefully such boards can be compared. Take a look in the processors, as I could find:

  • Beaglebone black: AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
  • Raspberry Pi: ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz (BCM2835)
  • Ulinuxino: ARM926J 454Mhz

As a baseline, you can have measures from a model B Raspberry Pi with a class 10 SD card; it takes (always with a minimal networkable SO):

Of course there are overclock possibilities etc. A hint about the application or precise requirements would help.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I doubt the reported times can vary more than an order of magnitude when testing on the other boards. Try Arduino or other microcontroller-based board if a boot time of seconds is too long. \$\endgroup\$
    – dawid
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it's a game of tradeoffs. I have to see where the sweetspot is in terms of boot time vs. ease of development vs. feature set. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ The MarshES actually is not an OS, but is uses the so-called cougar. According to the link, the RaspPi has to wait for the LCD to continue booting :S. \$\endgroup\$
    – dawid
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ :) a good game would be the non-OS solution. A goog endless game. \$\endgroup\$
    – dawid
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the link to the Marshmallow ES, that is some interesting info. I'll look into cougar! \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Jun 18, 2013 at 17:23
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These platforms don't run "a" distro, they are capable of running multiple distros, including custom builds put together by the solution implementer (i.e. you) themselves. Worry about the features you need first, then find or create the software solution afterwards.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand that each board could run different distros. The point behind my question is to determine if it's even reasonable to use a board that runs Linux if the boot times are prohibitively long. If a matrix existed that compared board vs. distro vs. feature set, that would be awesome, but that's probably hoping for too much. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Faster CPU and I/O wins. That's all you need. Everything beyond that is tweaking the OS. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2013 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough! Boot time really doesn't depend much on anything else, like the type of flash / memory? I guess maybe not enough to be measured in seconds... \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Jun 18, 2013 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Flash and memory fall under "I/O". \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2013 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ A class 10 card literally doubles the boot speed compared to a class 5. \$\endgroup\$
    – dawid
    Jun 18, 2013 at 12:59

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