InkScape starts extremely slow on a powerful machine (16GB RAM, Intel Core i7, SSD).

I did:

$ inkscape

After 8 seconds the window appears. This happens every time I start inkscape.

Is this a known behavior? Or is it a feature that can be disabled? :-)

2 Answers 2


The more fonts to load the longer it takes to start.

I got a 1 time sample from this bug:

With 405 fonts installed:

$ time inkscape

real 0m14.972s user 0m11.833s sys 0m0.192s

With 2148 fonts installed:

$ time inkscape

real 0m42.716s user 0m41.919s sys 0m0.140s

I got the number of installed fonts from "fc-list : file".

Mind though we had some progress on it according to this post:

Comment 47 for bug 488247 ~suv (suv-lp) wrote on 2014-11-07: #47 Improved launch times (0.91) based on - new icon cache on disk (John A. Cruz)(r9969) - font loading speed-up (Liam P. White, Tavmjong Bah)(r13523, r13617)

We use 0.48. Latest is 0.48.5 (found on inkscape website). 0.91 is Inkscape Next Release so you might take a plunge and try the developer versions.

Developer edition can be found here.

Confirmed in chat: 0.91 starts up within a second and the slow start of 0.48 was due to lots of google fonts.

0.91 got released today with a new renderer and 700+ bugfixes. From the link:

Inkscape 0.91 includes significant performance improvements thanks to a new Cairo-based renderer which is faster on most drawings. Also, the rendering of SVG drawings is now cached, resulting in important responsiveness improvements.

Furthermore, the latest Inkscape uses OpenMP multithreading for filters (filters use all available processor cores for computation), which provides better performance when editing drawings that include large filtered objects on multi-core systems.

Official release notes.

Installation using the Inkscape PPA stable version:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install inkscape

During Inkscape startup it loads icons and fonts.

Start-up time improved with version 0.91, but there is still a delay, especially if you have lots of installed fonts.

Other applications (like GIMP for example) also have a load process which can be slow, but they have a splash dialog that shows the loading progress. Inkscape doesn't have this. The user experience could be improved if Inkscape had a loading/splash screen to indicate what's happening.

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