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I just realized that I can start gimp (version 2.8) via

gimp -d

to reduce startup time on an old system.

Are there other tweaks to speed up the startup time of gimp and reduce memory usage?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

When building GIMP from source, you can append -Os to CFLAGS to tell the compiler to optimize for space and not execution speed. This will cause a smaller memory footprint.

Another technique if you are running one program only, is to use static linking. Using static linking, a binary will embed its dependencies and may get smaller since it is known at compile time exactly which code fragments are reachable and which are not. Normally, libraries are built dynamically (.so files) and the compiler cannot know which features will later be used.

These techniques are unlikely to gain you any significant advantage though, since you are likely using the dependencies of GIMP in other programs at the same time (i.e. GTK+ 2). If that is the case, static linking will cause the memory usage to rise dramatically.

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