[OS X TeX] Strange network behavior with XeTeX

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Sep 14 08:39:28 EDT 2006

On 14 Sep 2006, at 6:47 am, James Crippen wrote:

> When I run XeTeX (actually XeLaTeX) on a document I get some strange
> network usage happening. I'm at home on a PowerBook G4 connected over
> wireless to my home network. There is a G5 which has a USB printer
> attached to it and which is served by the G5 to the network. On my
> laptop I check the access_log for cups at /var/log/cups/access_log and
> see this:
> localhost - - [13/Sep/2006:19:37:57 -1000] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 200 152
> localhost - - [13/Sep/2006:19:37:57 -1000] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 200 152
> localhost - - [13/Sep/2006:19:37:57 -1000] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 200 75
> localhost - - [13/Sep/2006:19:37:57 -1000] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 200 219
> localhost - - [13/Sep/2006:19:37:57 -1000] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 200 231

The xdv2pdf output driver queries your current default printer to  
determine the default page size for the PDF output, so this would  
cause a little cups activity. (If you use the xdvipdfmx driver  
instead, available with xetex 0.995, then you won't see this  
behavior, as it doesn't make this query. There have been postings on  
the xetex list describing how to do this; you need to call xetex with  
the option -output-driver="xdvipdfmx -q -E".)


> and at the same time I'm getting a huge wad of network activity. This
> stalls XeTeX for a good minute while data is transferred over the
> network.

....I wouldn't expect anything like "a huge wad of activity" from  
this, unless there's something remarkably inefficient about the  
printer driver involved.

The other thing that I can imagine causing a lot of network activity  
would be if you have either fonts or (La)TeX input files in a  
directory (tree) that is on a network volume. Do you have a shared / 
Network/Library/Fonts folder? Or is ~/Library/texmf a link to your  
other machine? Something like that could lead to a lot of network  
file access, which will be a huge hit unless your network is *very*  

I haven't seen anything along these lines personally; if/when you  
figure out what's going on, I'd be curious to know the answer.


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