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Old 11-07-2017, 11:48 PM   #1
k001
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Default D6000 alternatives?

TL;DR: what are the options for those like me who's disappointed in DisplayLink?

So far, my experience with D6000 dock (connected to Dell XPS 13 9360) is horrible. A technology should work for people, making their life easier, enabling to do something that was not possible before. In this case it's the opposite -- buying the DisplayPort dock made my life worse, I spent days and nights trying to make it work. I worked for it, rather than it worked for me.

Anyway, in about two weeks I succeeded, to some extent. It sort of worked, as I was able to use two external monitors and other stuff connected it ot. The problem, as with anyone else on this forum, is disconnects that happen every hour or so -- usually when I am doing some work that needs extreme concentration and allows zero interruption, or in the middle of an important meeting talking to people across the globe. This is totally unacceptable for me. I am not sure if it's software bug or a hardware problem (I suspect the latter, with a software workaround for Windows but alas not Linux), but as far as I know there is no known fix to it.

Anyway, I ended up sending the D6000 back, and will make sure to avoid buying hardware with DisplayLink technology, because it doesn't work, and even if it would, it's CPU intensive which is conceptually wrong (as nowdays we use dedicated hardware -- called GPU -- for such things and more).

My research shows that the Thunderbolt (aka USB-C) port in my Dell XPS 13 9360 has two displayport outputs wired (using USB-C alternate mode), and with a proper dock/adapter you'll have two working display outputs. As many of you, I have a set of requirements from a dock:

- drive 2 or 3 external monitors;
- have gigabit Ethernet, some USB ports to connect other peripheral devices;
- power the laptop;
- do all of the above by means of a single connection, so plug/unplug is quick and easy;
- work [reliably with Linux];
- preferably be implemented in hardware, with little to no support from software.

It seems that Dell TB16 dock does all of that so have ordered it. Linux reviews are pretty positive (there was a bug making its Ethernet working at full speed, 1 gbps, but it seems it is fixed in latest kernels).

If anybody here have some recommendations of what dock to choose, please share.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:54 PM   #2
FrodeJemtland
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Default

Have tested the TB16. I have also moved from D6000.

At first the USB hub didn't work like I espektet, but after a couple of reconnects, it seems to work like it should.

I know that others here at work do not use these because the MAC is unique pr Dock, not following the PC. For our sysadmins that is a problem as the PC are manged by SCCM and PXE boot and reinstalling the machines are based on the PC's MAC. Don't think that is a big problem for us that uses Linux, but probably nice to be aware of, if anyone have a solution that uses the same function.

After just a couple of day's testing, this is all I have noticed. I'll try to remember to come back with more info in a couple of days/weeks. After fighting the reacquiring black-external-monitors related to the D6000, I'm still anxious about reacquiring trouble....
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:38 PM   #3
zombielinux
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I too have given up on the D6000. It failed for me with both USB-C and the USB3.0 adapter.

The D3100 however... is working flawlessly. So that makes me think its something to do with the hardware itself. Which is a shame really, I loved the idea of a single cable to plug/unplug. I guess I'll have to use two for now.

Maybe I'll revisit after a few updates.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:40 PM   #4
compuguy
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In terms of dell docks? As long as your laptop supports it, the TB16 and the WD15 are good candidates. There are also other universal thunderbolt docks out there. Pluggable makes some (note, some come with displaylink inputs, others no).
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Old 10-31-2022, 01:28 PM   #5
linux_person
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I've managed to make the D3100 work with dell XPS, but after some pains and kernel upgrades still regularly break display link, and it feels a bit buggy. Crazy that same brand laptop and dock can work so awfully together, seemingly due to Synaptic's neglect of proper linux kernel support.
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