Linux is a terrific operating system. It is as lightweight as you want or as bloated as you want, but by default most distributions come very lightweight and let you decide what to do. A great add on for Linux desktops is to install the Preload application to your install. In Ubuntu the easiest way to do this is simply from the Software Centre.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. What does Preload do? Well Preload tracks what programs you run on your desktop most frequently and preloads the important parts into your spare memory before you actually click on it to run. With Preload running the application will load from Memory instead of the Hard Drive speeding application start up times. This won't affect boot load times but does a good job of speeding up the responsiveness of using your desktop applications.
It is similar to what Microsoft has done with Pre-Fetch and Super-Fetch but unlike Microsoft Linux distributions give you the choice of whether you want to use it or not. Choice is always better.
Now, how do you install it? Well my current favourite distribution is Ubuntu so we'll focus on how it's done there, which is also incredibly easy. Simply go to and open the Ubuntu Software Centre.
In the Search Box type in preload as shown below:
I already have the app installed so my button shows "Remove", your's should show "Install" if you don't already have it. Simply click "Install", enter your Sudo credentials if prompted and the app will install and be running.
From that point forward it will begin monitoring what you run most frequently and in the future it will improve the load times of these applications by preloading them into memory before you use it. Pretty nice.
One of the good things about this on Linux is that since Linux has a very small Memory usage footprint to begin with, most people will have loads of memory to spare, even on Netbooks, so it won't significantly impact performance in any other way.
Very, Very Nice.