After a reboot, the first search using Unity Dash will be slower (15 sec) than the second search (seems instant), on my system at least. I guess this is because file index is cleared after a reboot and recreated as soon as first Unity Dash search is done.

If this is the case, auto-recreating index at system start-up should work. I could imagine for example automatically running some command at the system startup for gathering info before it is requested by user via Unity search.

I'm interested particularly in searching for programs.

I have disabled online search for better performance while no interest in that.

My current machine configuration:

Ubuntu 14.04.1 x64 on HP 655
Processor: AMD E2-1800 APU (2x 1700 MHz)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7340 driven by xOrg "Gallium 0.4 on AMD PALM"
Memory: 4 GB (real 3.6 GB)
HDD: ATA Hitachi HTS54505 

Theoretical benchmarks: CPU, HDD. I will benchmark those myself eventually...


Following topics may help you:-

I know that this is not exact answer of your question as quoted:-

I guess this is because file index is cleared after a reboot and recreated as soon as first Unity Dash search is done.

Is still unanswered and requires more attention.

  • second search also/still is fast without doing this steps that you suggested. – αғsнιη Oct 2 '14 at 11:48
  • 1
    Thanks :) . I didn't know about compizconfig-settings-manager. Although it seems the first Unity search delay relates to files / index / HDD not the graphics or RAM. I'm not having slideshow. And the same result would be for example 2 hours after system startup. – Esamo Oct 2 '14 at 12:17
  • Also visit askubuntu.com/q/382055/256099 – Pandya Oct 2 '14 at 12:56
  • preload is not good for slower systems because it's using lots of RAM and CPU, and that has nothing with unity search – Alen Oct 2 '14 at 13:30
  • preload doesn't change anything for me -1 – meles May 16 '15 at 9:00

In case you're only interested in the Dash to start application, you can simply uninstall lenses with sudo apt-get remove --purge unity-lens-[lensName]. As advised by BullfrogBlues here, that most likely means removing all of them except for unity-lens-applications and possibly unity-lens-files.

In case you like the Ubuntu system but feel like Unity is getting more and more crowded with functionalities you don't use, you can also consider moving to some other Ubuntu flavor. On my side I am now pretty happy with Ubuntu Gnome and a customized Cairo-dock!


Like the asker, I too mainly used the Dash for opening applications. There are things (e.g. those mentioned above by others) that can speed up the Dash. However, I found start startup speed remained an issue - presumably due to re-indexing. The best solution for me was to use "Gnome Do" instead. It's very neat and very fast. It's also in the ubuntu repositories and can be triggered from a keyboard shortcut.


Try using this application. It is called "Adaptive Readahead daemon". It is available from the Ubuntu repository.

I must say it has certainly sped up launching or doing anything in ubuntu from the desktop on my system. However I haven't really tested searching stuff before I installed it, and after I installed it.

When I get back home I'll see how fast it is to search now that I've got it installed after a reboot. However that said, I do have 16GB or RAM where the daemon caches all the stuff intelligently based on my past usage patterns.

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