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Aug 20 / kkrizka

HOWTO: Bootchart with BSD Process Accounting on Gentoo

Linux is notable for being very slow to boot-up, which is usually not a problem because it rarely needs to be rebooted. However there are people out there, myself included, that turn off their computer during the night, so it’s quite important for the computer to book up quickly in the morning. To speed up your boot time, you need to know what exactly is slowing down your computer. The easiest way to find this out is by using the bootchart application to generate a graphical report about what programs started, and how long they ran for. The following article is a step-by-step tutorial on how to setup bootchart on Gentoo, with BSD process accounting for improved accuracy.

First you need to enable some options in the kernel to use the BSD process accounting. This feature is optional, but is highly recommended for improved accuracy. If you are using genkernel to build your kernel, run the following command:

# genkernel kernel --menuconfig

And enable the following options:

General setup —>
[*] BSD Process Accounting
[*] BSD Process Accounting version 3 file format

The next step is to emerge the important packages for bootchart to work. You only need two packages, so the following command will do the trick:

# emerge app-benchmarks/bootchart sys-process/acct

Next you have to make sure to enable BSD Process Accounting support in bootchart. This is done by editing the /etc/bootchartd.conf file, and changing the line




The final step is to actually enable bootchart on start of boot by editing the /etc/conf.d/rc file. All you have to do is change the line




Now all you have to do is reboot your computer, and open the file /var/log/bootchart.png with your favorite image viewer. You should see something like the following chart:

20-08-2007 Bootchart


If you are getting the following error during boot, then make sure to emerge sys-process/acct:

/sbin/bootchartd: accton: command not found

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