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Speeding Up UNIX Login by Caching the Initial Environment

Carl Hauser
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center


A package scheme helps users manage the environment variables needed by the applications that they use, but imposes a long delay during login while the environment is incrementally constructed. This paper describes an approach to caching the incrementally constructed environment. The mechanism caches different environments for different operating systems and is robust in the face of users' changes to their .login files. For the typical PARC user who enables 11 packages at login, caching reduces the time to login from about 30 seconds to about 5 seconds.

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