I have been running Preload for months testing it out, and I have gained a substantial speed increase for my daily applications, firefox-3, gimp, vlc, xine, pidgin, xchat and deluge torrent. Basically what Preload does is preload frequently used applications in memory before use, so before you even run your frequently used application it is already loaded. So I am enjoying the benifit of applications loading almost instantaneously. By using Preload, you can put unused RAM to good work, and improve the overall performance of your desktop system. If goal is to make application startup times shorter definately install this application!
Preload is very easy to install, If you are in firefox try clicking here for a 1 click install! or all you do is simply press ALT-F2, check run in terminal and type this command:
sudo apt-get install preload
Once installed, Preload will start, and no further action is necessary, the default configuration should be left alone because the developer spend much time tweaking it for optimal usage, most likely you will notice a degrade in system performance editing the configuration. But if you insist, here is the paper written by the developer Behdad Esfahbod
If you would like to modify the configuration you can by editing /etc/preload.conf
|Cache model (system) settings|
|model.cycle||20 [seconds]||How often Preload will query your system to update it's model about programs and libraries to cache.|
|model.halflife||168 [hours]||How often Preload will begin to "forget" about old data; for each halflife, the statistical relevance of the current model loses 50% of its importance.|
|model.minsize||2000000 [bytes]||The minimum amount of system calls an application makes for it to be considered by Preload. A smaller number will mean Preload caches smaller applications, while to make Preload cache only larger applications, increase this number.|
| The forumula used to determine the maximum available memory available to Preload is: |
(Total RAM x model.memtotal) + (RAM available at start x model.memfree) + (Cached memory x model.memcached)
If you want to check up on what resources Preload is using, you can monitor its logfile by running:
sudo tail -f /var/log/preload.log
If you want more information about the specific files that Preload is caching for you, look at this file:
sudo less /var/lib/preload/preload.state
Preload can provide a great improvement in application startup time; since most modern machines have a good deal of memory to spare, Preload puts this RAM to good use. I highly recommend installing Preload on your desktop machine, and although it may take a little while for the daemon to learn your habits before your see any real performance improvement, it's a great tool that increases the speed of your system while staying in the background, out of your way.