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Currently I am playing around to find out how much it's possible to push down Ubuntu system installation and try to find out meaningful optimization vectors and how far the optimization can go.

Currently it's a WAN minimal network installation which takes about 400 seconds. Giving the host and the VM more hardware resources have not worked out significantly.

I think some gain is possible if having a local mirror site; but does anybody know if it's possible to configure the installation process itself to be faster, likewise use more cores (or providing a 4Ghz core if the installer is not parallelisable), open more download threads for packages, testing in-memory processing - what are your experiences here?

And what is the elapsed time where you would say it does not make sense anymore to further optimize?

  • Before trying to tweak the installer, what did you do to pinpoint the reason of this time ? Did you bench how much time is spent in network and disk IO ? All your ideas won't bring anything if your bottleneck is disk writes. – Tensibai May 23 at 7:57
  • @Tensibai disk I/O is about 160 MB/s (dd) and network allows to download initrd.gz in <2 seconds i.e. I/O can be about 35 MB/s. – Peter May 23 at 8:35
  • ^^ I am also looking for reference values, that is I do not know whether 400s are "quite ok" or "awkwardly slow" in this context. – Peter May 23 at 8:41
  • There's know silver bullet, installing from sources is not a common pattern, you bake images and clone them, this depend on your architecture. The "correct time" is very personnal – Tensibai May 23 at 12:31
  • sure that is not correct or wrong, but I think overall perspective can become available from gathering data about architectures and runtimes for baking images. Don't think a minimal image which bakes many hours is sign of a good personal taste either very performant architecture. Also, can't imagine somebody manages to do that in <10 seconds?! – Peter May 23 at 12:39

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