Marco Beishuizen writes:

>I own a HP LaserJet 2100, connected to my home network. According to the
>specifications it should be able to print 10 pages per minute. When using
>Windows that's not a problem. But using FreeBSD (with lpd configured with
>help of Apsfilter from the ports) it prints very slowly, I guess about 2
>pages per minute.
>Is it possible to make printing go faster?

When something is slow, the first thing to learn is _why_ it is slow.
With it running, call up  systat 1 -vmstat  (systat-one-dash-vmstat) and
look at the bar graph from the lhs to the center of the display.  If you
see lots of dashes or angle brackets, the problem is with user-level code
such as  ghostscript .  If you see lots of equal signs, then something in
the kernel (a driver?) is eating the time.  If you see lots of plus signs,
then a lot of time is being spent fielding interrupts, which suggests that
the communication between the computer and the printer is not well handled.
(Parallel ports are horrible in this way.)  If there is not a lot of CPU
being used, then the problem lies in the printer or in the precise
instructions is is being given -- or else in some other source of delay in
the computer.  In an extreme case, heavy disk I/O could do this; you'll see
that in the display on the bottom left to bottom center.

Once you know where the bottleneck is, or at least where it ISN'T, you
can look for the precise problem and the real fix.

systat -vmstat may be the best thing a performance-concious developer
will find in FreeBSD.  Apart, that is, from a system which wants to run
fast if only you'll let it.

    Mark Terribile

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