Preload or readahead?

Petter Reinholdtsen pere at
Tue Apr 4 20:23:46 UTC 2006

One of the tricks to speed up the boot times is to start a background
process as early as possible in the boot, and make it tell the kernel
to load from disks the files that is going to be used later in the
boot.  This increases disk throughput as it is used while the CPU is
busy doing other things, and increase CPU throughput as it is able to
keep running without waiting for the disk.  At least that is the
theory. :)

At the moment, I am aware of two such projects for Debian.  The
preload package (currently in Debian/unstable and /etch), with project
pages available from <URL:>,
and the readahead package, (currently in Ubuntu), WNPP request at

There is also the readaheadd, neither in ubuntu nor Debian, with
source available from <URL:>.

Which one of these would be best for speeding up the Debian desktop
boot?  Do we need all of them, just one, or a combination?

Anyone got any clues?  Are any of you already using the preload
package?  What about the readahead package?  I suspect Debian need
some kind of adaptive readahead system, kind of like preload but
focused on the boot process.

Petter Reinholdtsen

More information about the initscripts-ng-devel mailing list