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 Improve Application Startup Times and Speed Up Your System With Preload


If your computer habits are anything like mine you probably have a set of applications that you use nearly every time you log in to the machine.  Let me guess.. Firefox?  Pidgin perhaps?  Thunderbird or Evolution?  You may have more or less, but it is common for a user to use the same applications regularly.  Wouldn’t it be nice if those commonly used applications could startup faster?  That is possible with a tool called “Preload”.

Preload is an adaptive readahead daemon. It monitors applications that users run, and by analyzing this data, predicts what applications users might run, and fetches those binaries and their dependencies into memory for faster startup times.

Installing Preload

The preload service is available through the main Ubuntu repositories, and can be installed by clicking the link below or running the command:

sudo aptitude install preload

A few things to note now about using Preload.  First, this will not improve boot time.  Preload monitors recurring applications and, after establishing a pattern, will preload those binaries into memory at startup.  Given that it also has to establish a pattern you may not see a performance increase immediately.  Give it some time though, you’ll start to see a difference soon enough!

Tags: preload, speedup, startup, application
Created: 7 years ago.
Last edited: 7 years ago.
Reviewed: 7 years ago.

7 years ago

That's what this machine needed. Kudos!  
7 years ago

The conclusion of the article looks promising. I'll give it a whirl.  
7 years ago

You may learn alot by reading the research paper "Preload — An Adaptive Prefetching Daemon" by Behdad Esfahbod, the developer of preload.  
7 years ago

The article "Drastically Speed up your Linux System with Preload" gives some insight into how much performance is gained for its total resource cost, and discusses basic installation and configuration to get you started.  
7 years ago

How much better, quicker, faster are the programs going to load vs resources used.

Older PC's with >1GB are struggling anyway. I would be interested in the results from @trollboy VM.

Prelink would be good for the older stuff.
7 years ago

The new users should know that preload silently opens applications you usually use and dumps them in RAM, ready for when you actually need them.

You can use at the same time prelink to basically keep a record of where to find the libraries needed by your executables, saving a bit of time when starting programs. It seems to work better on systems with a large number of libraries, such as KDE.
7 years ago

Wonder how this would interact with prelink..... I feel a VM experiment coming on!  
7 years ago

preload does indeed the job. However, expect your boot time to increase considerably  

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