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well it does, but anyway he needs help. He is not asking you to do the homework, but he doesn't know where to begin. My advice: check google something like linux bencharking howto
and please read How To Ask a Question
I think it's a summary of what Mr. Eric Raymond said about how to ask good questions.
"...First we need to check processes running thrugh #ps -auxf.
Inerviewer: If all the process status looks fine.
Friend: "...Then we should check with vmstat.."
Intrvwer: That too sounds fine.
Friend:"...then lets see firewalling...stuff".
Intrv: Firewall seems ok"...
Distribution: debian, gentoo, os x (darwin), ubuntu
again! it depends WHAT is slow: processes on the computer or the network connection!
just - slow speed - is not enough info.
if all processes look fine, and there is not a lot of IO, then i would assume that it's the network connection in question (vmstat does _not_ show network details, and i would run vmstat before ps).
iptraf can give live information (also ntop, or monitoring with vnstat)
but then also if there is a look in the network, the computers connection will be slow.
and if they dont know what a loop is, tell them to take a hub and stick both ends of a network cable into it, and then attach it someone in the network!