[PARPORT] Could slow printing be due to parport?

Tim Sanders (tim@midbiz.freeserve.co.uk)
Sun, 8 Aug 1999 02:14:16 +0000

SInce upgrading to SuSE 6.1 (kernel 2.2.7) , I have not managed to obtain
printing at an acceptable speed on my HP Laserjet 4L (via lpr or from
applications such as Ghostview). I am still relatively new to Linux, but I
have read all available documentation and investigated and tweaked in all areas
which seemed relevant - without success. I am left wondering whether parport
(and/or my lack of understanding of it) may be the cause. Some facts and

1) By unacceptable, I mean that an average page of A4 of a postscript document
takes 8-13 MINUTES to print on my HPLJ4L. This is the case whether I print
direct from Ghostview, or alternatively, if I run Ghostscript against a *.ps
file and then do " cat [ghostscript outputfile] > /dev/lp0. ASCII files also
take several minutes per page to print via lpr. Printing via Wordperfect 8 is
at normal speed.

2) My previous installation of SuSE 5.2 (kernel 2.0.35) gave me normal speed
printing, both via lpr and Ghostview, and via Wordperfect. At that time I only
had one parallel port, on 0x378 using IRQ7. The printer was chained to a
Syquest EZ135, which I could not use under Linux.

3) Now my HPLJ4L is chained to the Syquest EZ135 on parallel port at
0x378 using IRQ5. I have a second parallel port on 0x278 using IRQ7, with a
scanner which is not supported by Linux. I have recompiled the kernel and load
parport and paride as modules. I load the paride drivers manually via a script.
The Syquest EZ135 works OK. I haven't seen any notable error messages logged in
connection with parport or paride.

4) I have tried disconnecting the EZ135 and attaching the HPLJ4L directly to
the parallel port. Still slow printing.

5) When an A4 page takes several minutes to print, the "READY" LED on my
printer flashes a few times at the start of the job, then repeatedly flashes
once at precisely 60 second intervals (the LED stays on meanwhile). This
suggests that someting is causing the data transfer to the printer to go sleep,
and only wake up momentarily at 60 second intervals to transfer small amounts
of data.

6) I tried tunelp (with param -c10, as per the man page). Is tunelp viable with
parport? The result is that I get no printed output at all. Any subsequent
execution of tunelp (or lpq) get message "Printer busy, waiting for device

Any suggestions?

TIA, Tim Sanders

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sun 08 Aug 1999 - 17:45:05 EDT