The Sysadmin’s Daily Grind: Bootchart

BOOT CAMP

Article from Issue 52/2005
Author(s):

What could be more boring than watching a computer run through an error-free boot routine? Why watch for messages that may never appear? Every second you save adds to your valuable leisure time. Bootchart helps you find those valuable leisure moments.

Bootchart [1] runs in the background while a computer is booting, keeping a watchful eye on the hard disk and the CPU load, noting the launch order for daemons, and letting you know if something is causing a delay. After collecting the results, Bootchart presents the relevant information in a user friendly graphic like the chart shown in Figure 1. Version 0.4 of Bootchart is a 60KB tar archive, which you can quickly unpack by typing tar xvzpf bootchart-0.4.tar.gz Now that was quick, or was it? A glance at the readme file reveals that Bootchart needs a Java Development Kit. Fortunately, the tool isn’t fussy about your choice of Java; it works fine with GCJ [2], the IBM Developer Kit [3], and Sun’s J2SE SDK [4] – I opted for Sun’s coffee roaster. I didn’t want to do without an I/ O load display, so I followed the recommendation in the readme and installed iostat from the sysstat package [5].

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