Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.


The e4rat-lite reduces disk access times through physical file reallocation. It is based on the online defragmentation ioctl EXT4_IOC_MOVE_EXT from the ext4 filesystem, which was introduced in Linux Kernel 2.6.31. Therefore, other filesystem types or earlier versions of extended filesystems are not supported.

The e4rat-lite is created from a simply idea of implementating the e4rat-preload-lite on the main e4rat tree, but it ended up showing a number of features that could be improved, making e4rat-lite a more independent project, with several optimizations that causes your system to start even faster than standard e4rat.

e4rat-lite binaries

The e4rat-lite consists of three binaries:

e4rat-lite-collect: Gather relevant files by monitoring file accesses during an application startup. The generated file list is the fundament of the second step.

e4rat-lite-realloc: Files are placed physically in a row on disk. The reallocation of the files' content yields a higher disk transfer rate which accelerates program start processes.

e4rat-lite-preload: Transfers files into memory in parallel to program startup. Because a file consists of file content and its I-Node information the preloading process is divided into two steps. First, it reads the I-Nodes' information which are still spread over the entire filesystem. In the second step, the files' content is read without causing any disk seeks.

For more information see: e4rat-lite-collect(8), e4rat-lite-realloc(8) e4rat-lite-preload and e4rat-lite.conf(5).

How to use

1) Run e4rat-lite-collect as init process through adding following line to Kernel parameters:


This can also be done by changing the configuration files of your boot manager (grub, lilo, syslinux, etc).

2) Check the configuration file (/etc/e4rat-lite.conf) and change the variable init_file to the process used in your system. E.g.:




3) Restart your computer to complete the first data collection.

4) After the e4rat-lite-collect end it will generate a list of files, which is written in /var/lib/e4rat-lite/startup.log (You can change the destination path on configuration file, in /etc/e4rat-lite.conf).

After complete boot, you can end the e4rat-lite-collect running:

# e4rat-lite-collect -k

5) Now you must run the e4rat-lite-realloc to start the relocation process. Is recommended that you switch to runlevel 1, so you ensure write access to all binary processes (See e4rat-lite-realloc(8) for more information).

If you are using a boot system like System V, you can use the following command to enter runlevel 1:

# telinit 1

If you are using a boot system like systemd, you can switch to rescue mode:

# systemctl isolate

So do the relocation using the command:

# e4rat-lite-realloc

By default the e4rat-lite-realloc search for the boot log file in /var/lib/e4rat-lite/startup.log. If you use another location, you can indicate the path as a parameter.

6) At end of this process, the kernel parameter should be changed again to load the e4rat-lite-preload, which will in fact speed up the boot of your system:


That's all

You must make a new collection of files after much modification in programs installed, such as updates and/or boot related files such as libraries and like. The time for this varies depending on the frequency of changes that you performs on your disk. Keep this in mind.


The e4rat-lite toolset has the following external dependencies:

  • Linux Kernel (>= 2.6.31)
  • CMake (>= 2.6)
  • Boost Library (>=1.41) [You need the following components: system, filesytem, regex, signals2]
  • Linux Audit Library (libaudit >=0.1.7)
  • Ext2 File System Utilities (e2fsprogs)
  • Gettext (>=0.18)


The build system is based on CMake, which will generate a Makefile.

To build the release version of e4rat-lite run the following commands:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=release
$ make

For install:

# make install


e4rat has been developed by Andreas Rid under the guidance of Gundolf Kiefer at the University of Applied Sciences, Augsburg.

e4rat-lite has been developed by Lara Maia

There can be external authors for some files. In this situation it will be indicated in the file head.

e4rat-lite is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

e4rat-lite is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see

Lara Maia