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I usually run Ubuntu on my notebook, and I'm pretty happy with it, execept for the boot time : my laptop is pretty old, and Ubuntu takes about 50 seconds to boot.

Of course, that's not bad compared to windows (about 2 minutes last time I checked), but I was wondering if there was a minimal Gnu/Linux distribution which would bring this boot-up time lower, while letting me use the latest version of Firefox and Thunderbird (these are basically the only two apps that I use) I searched a lot before asking this, but it seems that either distributions don't provide Thunderbird, or they only provide outdated builds.

I should mention that my notebook is a 64-bits one.

Hope you have ideas!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Minimal OS

    Chrome OS

    Possibly supplemented by Gmail.

    This assumes you are not irrevocably wedded to Thunderbird.

    If not, you may be able to build it for Chromium OS (The Open Source release)

  2. Fast start

    Use Suspend and Hibernate, never shut-down.

  3. Better Netbook

    Some netbooks initially fast-boot to a stripped-down Linux OS with browser, mail, mp3 and photo apps. For example the HP mini series. Booting to Windows is an option.

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I am in fact wedded to TB, since I can also use it from Windows, and have customized a huge lot of things to integrate email from a number of sources. –  Clément Oct 22 '11 at 19:26

You could try Arch Linux. It contains Firefox and Thunderbird in its official packages.

It's definitely more work to install than Ubuntu, but if you want a lightweight installation, you can get some great results.

I can measure the boot time on my (pretty old) laptop if you're interested, I think it's under 15 sec.

Without Firefox, the memory consumption is about 100 MB with X started.

Edit: after checking, it takes 20 sec to boot.

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