I just read this article on xsol.se and tried out a few of the changes on my Ubuntu Edgy system. The results were impressive! Just changing the boot process to run in parallel (idea #2) improved my time from power-on to a login screen from 40-ish seconds to about 15! I can probably do better if I don’t start my rather large MySQL server (used for development at work) on every boot too.
I also recommend disabling Java from OpenOffice – that alone improved startup time of Writer from 10-ish seconds to about 2 seconds.
Any other creative tips to make Ubuntu even faster?
Edit: – I’d also recommend trying prelink. Prelink links your applications to their runtime libraries in advance so that they start faster. It’s not for everyone – it’s not necessary in Feisty, and it might break your system (but if it breaks, you do get to keep both pieces!) but it has made a tangible improvement in application startup speed for me. This guide has a quick tutorial on enabling prelink.
Edit 2: – If you run a large MySQL database on your desktop / laptop, you might want to check out my post on using ionice to de-prioritize mysqlcheck