[I don't understand why cutting boot time a minute or less is so important.]
Because most users are willing to wait 5s to google something, not two minutes: there are quite a few times where I would like to check something on my computer but don't do it because I'm not willing to wait.
If I could do it 5s after pushing the button, this would be okay.
Of course with 5s to start the OS, then the BIOS initialisation time matter (especially with the big RAM that we have, I've always thought that the OS should test continuously the RAM at runtime so that the check made in the BIOS could be disabled for faster total startup time)..
Anyway, *thanks a lot* arjan for this work: I've used BeOS on a Celeron333 a few years ago and it started in 14s from the bootloader to the (responsive) GUI included whereas Linux and Windows took much more time (>>1min) to do the same thing(*), you've showed that Linux can boot fast too, this is very nice!
I keep my finger crossed that a distribution will work to enable this feature on regular hardware: they'll have a new user: me!
*: even though their GUI were (and still are) much less responsive..