“Preload 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.”
That was the promise anyway, but does it actually work?
To find out, open up a terminal and enter the following line..
sudo aptitude install preload
You can also install it by searching for preload within your package manager.
I haven’t bothered doing a highly scientific test on this; basically I just started counting after I had clicked on the programs shortcut and stopped once the program had fully loaded. It doesn’t really matter though as the programs start up noticeably faster.
Firefox = 8 seconds
Thunderbird = 13 seconds
Gimp = 20 seconds
Writer (Open Office) = 40 seconds
Rhythmbox = 11 seconds
Firefox = 2 seconds
Thunderbird = 3 seconds
Gimp = 6 seconds
Writer (Open Office) = 8 seconds
Rhythmbox = 3 seconds
These can’t really be considered consistent results. The programs didn’t start up quite as fast once I performed a clean reboot, but they were still faster and easily worth the meager resources that Preloads background daemon uses. It only makes a difference to programs that you start and stop a lot. I don’t use email enough to warrant keeping Thunderbird open all the time and I’m forever opening and closing the Gimp so this suits me fine.
There’s no extra configuration necessary by the way, just install and enjoy 😀