[Samba] Print speed with an HP Laserjet 4

Mike Brodbelt m.brodbelt at acu.ac.uk
Fri May 2 11:53:56 GMT 2003

I've also posted this message to the lprng list, but as I'm currently
not sure where the problem lies, I'm posting it here too in the hope
that someone has a clue.....

I have recently installed a printer accounting system on my systems, and
changed the print model for some of my users. In most cases, this has
been fine, but users who are using HP Laserjet 4 printers are
experiencing significantly slower printing. The Laserjet 4 should be
capable of producing 12 pages per minute, but is currently running at
approximately 5-6 - each page is printed fully, and the printer pauses
completely for a couple of seconds between pages.

The old print setup worked at full speed. This was users on NT
workstations, printing via a locally installed HPLJ4 PCL driver, to a
Samba provided LanManager printer port. Samba would pass the print job
off to lprng, which would send it across the network to the printer on

The new print setup, which is significantly slower, is that the user
prints via a server based HPLJ4m PostScript driver, to a spoolss samba
printer port. Samba passes the job to lprng, which passes a copy of the
PostScript file to my accounting system (printbill), and then sends the
job to lprng, which converts the PostScript to PCL via the ifhp pcl_gs
model, before finally sending it across the network to the printer on

The server in a dual Athlon 2000+ with 1Gb RAM running Debian. I know
there will be a slight processing overhead due to the PS->PCL
conversion, but I don't believe this is responsible for the slowdown.
Whne this was first set up, the initial change was to upgrade the
installed version of Samba, and move from LanManager type printers with
locally installed drivers to spoolss printers with server configured
drivers. Users are reporting that the problem has been present for a
while, so it may well have coincided with that change, before I put the
print accounting system and associated PS->PCL conversions in place.

I'd appreciate any suggestions as to what might be responsible for the
speed change, and how I might go about fixing it. I'm currently at a
loose end as to which part of the chain to suspect, and how to restore
the speed...


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