I like the look of Unity and I also like to use keyboard shortcuts. However, my impression is that in Ubuntu 11.04 it takes longer time for a program to start than compared to Ubuntu 10.10.

For example, if I hold Super and then press 1 then I expect the file manager to pop up almost immediately, but instead it takes a few seconds. Not much, but irritating. The hardware should not be the problem since my computer was new and state of the art one year ago (Sony VAIO with NVIDIA graphics driver).

Is there any way to get a faster program start in Unity of Ubuntu 11.04? Or will this be taken care of in Ubuntu 11.10?


My computer has a Intel Core i5 processor (2.4 GHz), 4 GB memory, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics card. In my opinion, it is fair to say that this was state of the art one year ago and it is still a powerful computer. (The script "/usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p" gives a definitive yes that Unity is supported.)

The computer runs a clean install of Ubuntu 11.04 and I have not activated any extra fancy stuff.

My question is if Unity 3D in Ubuntu 11.04 can be tweaked to run faster.

  • Sony VAIO with nVidia drivers, doesn't say anything about your hardware, please put more info. – Uri Herrera Aug 9 '11 at 9:44
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    Disabling als fancy stuff (non-essential compiz plugins, window animations etc.) and using Unity 2D will help. – con-f-use Aug 9 '11 at 9:57
  • @con-fu-se amen to that – user22977 Aug 9 '11 at 13:17
  • Please see my addition above – mghg Aug 9 '11 at 13:29
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    Have you tested the classic session to see if the problem exists here as well? This will tell you whether this is a problem with Unity or Ubuntu in general. – dv3500ea Aug 9 '11 at 17:05

Have you considered installing Preload?

sudo apt-get install preload

Preload is a daemon that monitors the programs you often run and partially loads them into memory. It particularly helps me with heavy programs such as Inkscape.


In my experience it depends on what program you are launching, and in all honesty the perceived difference in start up time is likely just in your head. For example, Midori starts immediately for me, and Nautilus takes sometimes a full minute!

It would help you to run the applications that take a long time to start from the terminal and see what they are outputting, as often times the program does some other things before you see the application window pop up. If the program is taking a while to start from the terminal, and outputs a lot of information, then you would know that it is just doing something extra.

Also keep in mind that it might be a change in the way the filesystem works that causes the delay.

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