Your computer probably boots with grub, and in a grub configuration file, there is a “timeout” value that you can reduce. It is not recommended that you let it be less than 2, but if it is three or more, go ahead and change it.*

I’ll make it real simple for you, if you are running Gnome. Copy and paste the following into a terminal window:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

You will (probably) be prompted for the password, enter it, and “gedit” will open up an editable version of the file.

Search for “timeout” and change the number as you wish. Save the file.

Perhaps you are only reducing a ‘3’ to a ‘2’ but that one second every day or so will add up. Just make sure you read this post really fast and carry out the instructions real fast or it won’t be as worth it!

* Nothing is guaranteed to work. If you take my advice and mess with your computer, FSM help you.


  1. #1 clinteas
    November 9, 2008

    //and “getit” will open up//

    That would be “gedit”…
    And its probably easier to reduce the bootup time by switching off some boot-up services you dont need every time,such as bluetooth or power management…

    Im feeling cheritable tonight,so here’s “New Rules” from Friday :

  2. #2 greg laden
    November 9, 2008

    clinteas: You’re ruining for everyone. One tip at a time. We’re doing one tip at a time, and bluetooth is on the list.

    Saying It’s “easier” to switch off bluetooth than to reduce delay time is like saying to get to the grocery store faster it is better to drive faster than to leave now rather than later. You should do both!

    Thanks for the funny link.

  3. #3 RSG
    November 9, 2008

    Hmm… My timeout is already set to 0, which the comments say means 1 second. This is with Xandros, on an Asus EEE PC, stock configuration. The boot time is pretty short already.

  4. #4 Benjamin Franz
    November 9, 2008

    If you are using a Red Hat based distribution (Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora, CentOS) then the correct file to edit is: /boot/grub/grub.conf

  5. #5 greg laden
    November 9, 2008

    Ben: tuftai!

  6. #6 Benjamin Franz
    November 9, 2008

    Sorry. I couldn’t figure out what ‘tuftai’ means.

  7. #7 deBeuk
    November 9, 2008

    Another great way to speed up the booting process is to add “profile” to the kernel arguments in grub the first time you boot. Simply go to the menu entry of the kernel you want to boot, press e, go to the second line, press e again, add ‘profile’ (sans quotes) to the end of the line, press b, press b again, and the system will automatically scan what files are loaded at boot and place them together. The next time you boot it should be noticeably faster.

  8. #8 JanieBelle
    November 9, 2008

    Yay! Now I can pay attention to these posts, and maybe they’ll start meaning something to me!

  9. #9 Bob
    November 10, 2008

    For a very in-depth look at the process, check out:

    The DeveloperWorks area is a great resouce for all sorts of things.

    For the very, very, very, brave check out the initng home page. Nothing like completely replacing the boot manager to make the ol’ heart race. 🙂

  10. #10 Charles Peng
    November 10, 2008

    This is the most effective way!

  11. #11 Jim
    November 12, 2008

    If you are really serious about this you should check out the way a five second boot has been achieved