Prebind from OpenBSD

Peter Jeremy peterjeremy at
Mon Mar 28 21:20:19 UTC 2011

On 2011-Mar-27 20:54:18 +0100, Robert Watson <rwatson at> wrote:
>part of rc.d.  I'd also investigate large applications like Firefox, Chrome, 
>KDE, Gnome, etc.  KDE already integrates prebinding tricks in its design, but 
>I don't think the others do.

Improving startup time for large, infrequently started executables will
enhance the user experience but not do a great deal for overall system
performance.  (And note that things like OOo, emacs and browsers have
significant amounts of code in embedded scripting languages and it's
unlikely that pre-binding will help much there).

I suspect a bigger overall win would be gained by speeding up small
but very frequently started executables - /bin/sh is the most obvious
candidate here, though there are probably other candidates in /bin
and /usr/bin.  In this case, you need to measure how frequenctly it
is started as well as the per-startup savings.  For some of these
executables, it's easy to get a reasonably accurate estimate of the
potential pre-binding savings by comparing the speed of the existing
dynamically-linked executable in /bin with the same statically-linked
executable in /rescue.

One thing that I'm not sure if you've take into account is process-
initiated library loading (using dlopen(3) and friends).  Note that
even /bin/sh can do this through things like locale handling.

Peter Jeremy
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