Thursday, March 18, 2010

Speeding up XFree86 Startup on a x86 Target

I have an embedded motherboard with the ?i945G? graphics chipset. XF86 4.6.0 would take 11 seconds of blank screen to start up which is unacceptable for an embedded applicance [the user might think that the system went belly-up].

While playing with vesafb I learned that if I start Linux in graphics mode vga=0x314 (which also enabled me to claim half of the boot screen with the company logo) the start up time of the XF86 (same server) is cut to only 1.5 sec.

Prior to this I tried Xvfb which starts instantaneously but it's horrendously slow.


P.S. Bolting the logo into the kernel using a 224 colour ppm ASCII bitmap is gross.