Recently, I did the upgrade for Ubuntu 11.04 and I have a much longer startup, as well as time to launch some programs.
Can this problem be solved?
Just to make a small point. Don't judge a book by it's cover. In this case, the cover for a Linux distribution is the loading/startup time. Yes, comparing 11.10 or 11.04 to 10.10 is not fair since one of 10.10's goal was faster boot time. For 11.04 and 11.10 the goal is not make it more user friendly, speed up typical tasks, be more compatible, be faster (after loading the OS), less bugs in general, up to date versions of apps, more security, more efficiency and so on and so forth.
Basically you have this question: Which was is better?
Yes, they could had worked on the booting speed but if by doing so they would have left some other part unfinished. Would you had liked that change?. For example change performance when the OS loads Versus boot time. so then you get a System that boots OMG FAST!!! but when inside the whole system responds like some really old mummy. And I do not mean any just mummy. I mean like really slow zombie mummy that will eat your brai... CPU.
So that is basically the real question when regarding this. For example, when quoting Mark Shuttleworth for each version he had this to say:
10.10 - "...This is a time of change, and we’re not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself...Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social – everything we want in a Perfect 10. We’re booting really fast these days, but the final push remains..." - Key Here: Speed
11.04 - Was going to quote a paragraph but that thing is huge since it takes the whole thing to give an idea of what will happen in 11.04. Here is the link to "Naughty Narwhal": http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/478 - Key Here: A WHOLE WACKY BUNCH OF THEM!
11.10 - "Oneiric means “dreamy”, and the combination with Ocelot reminds me of the way innovation happens: part daydream, part discipline. We’ll need to keep up the pace of innovation on all fronts post-Natty. Our desktop has come together beautifully, and in the next release we’ll complete the cycle of making it available to all users, with a 2D experience to complement the OpenGL based Unity for those with the hardware to handle it. The introduction of Qt means we’ll be giving developers even more options for how they can produce interfaces that are both functional and aesthetically delightful." - Key Here: INNOVATION.
12.04 - "12.04 is an LTS. So we want it to be tough and long-lasting, reliable, solid as a rock and well defended. It’s also going to be the face of Ubuntu for large deployments for a long time, so we want it to have no loose ends, we want it to be coherent, neat." - Key Here: Stability and Compatibility.
This might not be a direct answer but it is an answer as to why the slowness and what to think of it. Stability Versus Speed?. Compatibility Versus Speed?. Latest Technology Versus Speed?. Who knows, maybe 12.04 or 12.10 will be SUPER FAST!
I've adjusted swappiness in /proc/sys/vm/swappiness and noticed a large difference in boot time. Here's how to do it:
The default setting in Ubuntu is swappiness=60. Reducing the default value of swappiness will probably improve overall performance for a typical Ubuntu desktop installation. A value of swappiness=10 is recommended, but feel free to experiment. Note: Ubuntu server installations have different performance requirements to desktop systems, and the default value of 60 is likely more suitable.
To check the swappiness value
To change the swappiness value A temporary change (lost on reboot) with a swappiness value of 10 can be made with
sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10
To make a change permanent, edit the configuration file with your favorite editor:
gksudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf
Search for vm.swappiness and change its value as desired. If vm.swappiness does not exist, add it to the end of the file like so:
Save the file and reboot.
Try this at your own risk though, I assume no responsibility.
Since 11.04 the boot times and the startup times of the desktop have been a bit more "sluggish" then previous versions, there is not much you can do about.
Maybe a fresh install will give you some extra speed but no miracles there.
Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 are noticed to be a bit slower.