gnucash VERY slow to start - guile using up 100% cpu

Joe Marcus Clarke marcus at
Tue Mar 9 20:33:57 PST 2004

On Sat, 2004-03-06 at 09:03, at wrote:
> i realize i'm comparing apples to oranges, sort of - but there's definitely
> a problem here ...
> on my laptop, gnucash takes MINUTES to start - minutes pass before the splash
> screen is even displayed. on my desktop it's almost immediate. below i'll
> describe the hardware/software differences for comparison. if anyone has any
> clue how to fix this problem i'd be VERY happy to hear from you!
> the time tests below work like this: execute `time gnucash test.gc` from the
> command-line, and click the exit button as soon as it appears. test.gc is
> duplicated on each system, both copies are being opened from local disk.
> ==LAPTOP====================
> thinkpad r40, 768MB RAM, pentium-m 1.4Ghz (very fast doing ~ everything)
> running gnucash 1.8.8 on freebsd 5.2-current
> FreeBSD 5.2-CURRENT FreeBSD 5.2-CURRENT #1: Mon Feb
> 2 16:38:59 EST 2004
> root at  i386
> gnucash-1.8.8_1
> guile-1.6.4_4
> guile-gtk-0.31_1
> slib-guile-3a1
> $ time gnucash test.gc
> real    2m53.681s
> user    0m8.008s
> sys     2m35.113s
> ==DESKTOP====================
> custom desktop, 512MB RAM, 1Ghz via C3 (normally quite slower than the laptop)
> running gnucash 1.8.8 on gentoo linux 1.4
> Linux 2.4.22-pre6-ac1-ieee1394 #2 Fri Aug 1 11:06:45 EDT
> 2003 i686 VIA Nehemiah CentaurHauls GNU/Linux
> gnucash-1.8.8
> guile-1.6.4-r1
> $ time gnucash test.gc
> real    0m8.910s
> user    0m6.130s
> sys     0m0.200s
> ======================
> to add insult to injury, the linux gnucash is being run via ssh, X tunneled
> back to laptop. it'd probably be even quicker if i were running from the
> desktop console.
> gnucash was just rebuilt on the laptop (freebsd) with `portupgrade -R gnucash`
> so that all gnucash dependencies were upgraded as well. while gnucash is
> taking its 3 minutes to startup, running `top` shows the guile process taking
> up ~100% of the cpu. i have plenty of ram, nothing is swapping to disk, and
> the system is otherwise plenty fast.
> i have to think this is some kind of problem with one of the ports
> involved, and not the system in general - because everything else seems to
> be doing just fine ...
> i have no idea where to go from here, this is kicking my butt...
> anybody have any ideas?

There is definitely a problem starting GnuCash on FreeBSD.  IT takes
forever.  I haven't really had a chance to sit down and analyze the
problem or the solution.  My gut feeling is it has something to do with
the number of shared libraries and modules needed by the application,
and an inefficient load order.  Run the program under truss of strace,
and watch everything it does at startup.  After GNOME 2.6 is released, I
might have time to look into this, but I'm not a big GnuCash user
myself, so if you feel like taking a stab at things, that would be


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