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In ubuntu 11.04, loading the terminal with a keyboard shortcut was really quick. When I started using ubuntu 11.10 (with unity) I noticed it took a little while. Then I remembered about the preload app (and how it sped up the loading of applications by cache-ing) and the times were reduced immensely.

As I tried Gnome Shell, I started to realize I liked it better than unity (still not 100% secure heh); but there is a big drawback: terminals seem to take ages to load. Just to illustrate, I just opened LibreOffice Writer in about 4/5 of the time it takes to open a terminal.

Why is this happening, and how can I fix it?

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I should have specified that I have an nVidia graphics card, but I didn't even think the graphics driver could slow down the whole system.

I read elsewhere that using the "Recommended" nVidia driver from the Additional Drivers application could speed up the Gnome Shell (or perhaps it would be better described as not slow down). I did, and the problem was fixed. I hope this is useful for somebody else.

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I had the same problem. Terminals takes too much time to open (15-20seconds).

I installed the "Recommended" nVidia driver from the Additional Drivers as you described. But the PC rebooted to console login. Startx says no screens detected.

I have dual graphic cards: Intel integrated and Nvidia. So I rebooted to recovery and disabled the Nvidia drivers. Now everything is back OK and terminals open quite fast.

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