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preload is a program written by Behdad Esfahbod which runs as a daemon and records statistics about usage of programs using Markov chains; files of more frequently-used programs are, during a computer's spare time, loaded into memory. This results in faster startup times as less data needs to be fetched from disk. preload is often paired with prelink.


preload is available through pacman. In Arch Linux, just issue the command:

# pacman -Sy preload

Start directly with

# /etc/rc.d/preload start

To start preload at system boot, add it to the DAEMONS section in /etc/rc.conf:

DAEMONS =(... preload ...)


The configuration file is /etc/preload.conf, it contains default settings that should be suitable for regular users. Unfortunately the default settings do not cover applications that are installed in /opt, if you have applications there, add them using mapprefix and exeprefix. The cycle option lets you configure how often to ping the preload system to update its model of which applications and libraries to cache.

See also