[Samba] Print speed with an HP Laserjet 4

Kurt Pfeifle kpfeifle at danka.de
Fri May 2 18:46:26 GMT 2003

Mike Brodbelt wrote:

> Kurt Pfeifle wrote:
>>Mike Brodbelt <m.brodbelt at acu.ac.uk> wrote on Samba Digest:
>>If you "don't believe" -- why don't you set up a little benchmark
>>Like this:
>>     * print to file on a Win Client using the "old" HPLJ4 PCL driver
>>       and save the PCL file
>>     * print to file on a Win Client using the "new" PS driver and save
>>       the PS file
>>     * print both files locally on your Samba server from an appropriate
>>       command line and benchmark the two print processes (with and without
>>       printbill activated)
>>This way you eliminate the Win --> Samba file transfer overhead as well
>>as you can estimate the respective printbill overhead.
>>I would be very much interested about your results.
> I prepared a 3 page document in Word, and printed this from an NT
> workstation, via a spoolss PCL driver as a baseline:-
> Time to start printing: 30 seconds
> Time to complete emergence of final page: 2 mins 15 secs
> I then created PCL files and PostScript files  of the same document, and
> printed them with lpr from the server:-
> PCL time to start print:		30 secs
> PCL time to complete print:		2 mins 15 secs
> PS time to start print:			14 secs
> PS time to complete print:		1 min 29 secs

That's interesting indeed.

> Adding printbill support to the printer in question made no visible
> difference to the time for the PostScript print.
> These results were rather surprising to me - not what I expected. FWIW,
> I think that the problem must be something to do with the way ifhp sends
> the print job to the printer, but I've no idea what at the moment. The
> job seems to be being sent page by page, as lpq shows very fast
> completion, but the ifhp process hangs around until the final page is
> sent. As each page is printed, there is a very noticeable pause before
> the next one starts to emerge. This pause is far longer for the PCL docs
> that the PS ones. It seems that the 3 page job is being sent as 3
> individual pages, and the startup time for the PCL generated by the
> windows driver is larger than for the GhostScript generated PCL.
> I'd be grateful for any more suggestions, but at this stage it does
> rather seem as though the problem lies definitively with lprng/ifhp, and
> not with Samba.
> That said, the problem seemed to be absent when the drivers were
> installed locally on the workstations - does that suggest anything about
> the root cause of the problem?

Hmmm... maybe, yes....

How is the PCL driver setup on the server? I mean: what are the job option
*default* settings? These will be used for every user who doesn't set up
his own. Are there any quality settings which could influence the size
of the job? Resolution, color, embedding fonts (and in which form), etc.?

Try to set this to other values. (For a HOWTO see chapter 6.6.5. in


Attention -- this chapter is not listed in the TOC, but is in the body
of the doc.)

> Mike.


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