Wine in Linux, though it's Emulated to an extent, it still uses unnecessary binaries because of its dependencies in case they're needed. Linux is about as close as you'll get to playing games without excess unnecessary programs/processes running in the background. If you need more speed in Ubuntu, try Xubuntu, or just install XFCE and remove GDM.
I like your idea, I had it once before, but when you get into the levels of files needed by an OS, you can see Consoles and Linux are the closest you'll get to that. - Not flaming btw here.
Where's [slooksterpsv] been? - I had Catastrophic partition alignment failure. I lost 90%+ of my data, and just now got it back fixed and working.
To the OP:
Your idea is not so stupid as some of the people in this thread made it sound. Years ago when I was using Windows 95, there was an app that did just what you wanted. I can't remember the name, but I remember the program well. You fed it the executable name, and it restarted Windows. Upon boot-up it loaded all your system drivers (sound/video/directX libraries/etc) but not Explorer or any other background programs. It worked to, I bumped me from 15 to 25fps in the game I was using it for.
Something like that probably would work today, but would be nowhere near as drastic. Most of the speedup could probably be attributed to memory allocation, which was scarce back then. Also idling programs these days don't take up as high a percentage of the cpu resources as they once did. It's not to say their more efficient, but rather the overall cpu power is so much greater that they make much less impact.
Don't forget that even consoles such as XB360 and PS3 have the OS running in the background when you're playing games. To mimic that, you would just need to remove all the "extra" startup apps (email notification, printer, remote networking, etc) from your system.
Ever heard of gaming consoles?
EDIT:wrote this before I read benmoran's post
Anyway, gaming consoles all have the same hardware and OS (eg Xbox360s have same hardware [hard drives are an exception] and the same OS as other Xbox 360s), which means if you want as little bloat as possible, you will need this OS to work on only one type of hardware, which means you will have to make a specific gaming computer for that specific OS. Essentially, you are just making another gaming console.
By the way
Last edited by tuahaa; January 1st, 2010 at 04:03 PM.
I'm a newbie... all help appreciated.