Speed up your (ubuntu) Linux box with preload

Mar 06

There is a very nice way of utilizing the spare gigabytes of memory on your (laptop) computer.

Preload is a tool which actively monitors the usage of programs running on your machine and preloads the libraries of the most used ones. Thus dramatically increasing the loading time of those applications. It is very intelligent, so the only think you need to do is isntall it. On an ubuntu based distro you can easy do that by typing:

sudo apt-get install preload

Alternatively you can download it from its home page.

It will then run in the background and do its magic :)

The only drawback one can see is the slightly lager memory usage, but who cares since RAM is cheap and you probably have more that you need, but that’s not certainly the case with your hard drive. I believe very few laptops come with solid state disks where reading  libraries from the disk every time is not an issue. Most of us are unlucky to own a 5.4k rpm hard disk with 8-16M cache… and this costs us sometimes what seems like an age to load a text editor or the browser.

A few points to note:

  • logs are kept in /var/log/preload.log
  • absolutely no configuration is needed, however you can tune the parameters of /etc/preload.conf to suit your needs
  • sudo /etc/init.d/preload {start, stop, reload} can be executed to start, stop and reload config file

As some test results claim on the Internet it will be able to speed up loading of your most frequently used programs with an average of up to 50% :-0


camera problems with skype on linux

Apr 18

A common problem for Linux’s skype is the camera. Often it doesn’t handle the input data from the camera correctly. Usually green lines are being displayed where the proper image should be. This happens to users with 64 bit OS or users with older cameras.

The problem is easily solved if you enter the following code in your shell.

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype &

Basically you load your skype with the 32 bit libraries for video capturing.

This code works absolutely fine for Ubuntu 9.10. I assume that it will work on other Ubuntu versions  as good as it does on my machines. The only problem may be the path. But a quick find will do the job for you.

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