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Old 01-06-2018, 12:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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Default Seeking advice on Linux/ARM64 and DisplayLink: worth trying?

Hello everyone

This Meltdown/Spectre thing has freaked me out a bit and I'm thinking of getting a new machine to cunningly sidestep any associated risks. My criteria are as follows...
  • It should be low power and have no moving parts (fanless), so probably an ARM, one of the variants that don't do out of order execution, A7 or A53
  • It should work nicely with ArchLinuxARM running a mainline kernel
  • It should drive a single monitor at 1080p over HDMI with audio
  • It should be powerful enough for my modest needs: heavily modded vim, lots of scrolling text in the terminal, web browsing, smooth video

I won't be playing games and I don't need 3D acceleration. I do require a fast 2D desktop and watchable video.

It's surprisingly difficult to find such a machine, mainly because the candidates require a forked kernel for graphics acceleration. For my home server I've decided to get an Espressobin (Cortex A53, USB 3.0 A, headless). I was wondering if the addition of a DisplayLink device may make it worth getting one as a desktop too?

Am I mad? Would it work? I don't mind spending time playing with config files. Would performance be bearable? Do DisplayLink devices include their own video decoder or would that be offloaded onto the (weak) CPU? Do they include their own USB audio adapter or would I have to get one of those too? Assuming it's all possible, what device would you guys recommend?

I expect I am mad and I'll have to make do with a funny kernel, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks in advance for your answers.
Kleptoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 11:30 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Default Re: Linux/ARM64 and DisplayLink worth trying?

same question as previous poster. My (different) use case would be to connect a DisplayLink-powered USB / Graphics adapter or an DisplayLink-powered display to an embedded board (ARM Ultrascale with ARM A53, i.e. 64-bit) that does not bring its own display port to begin with. OS baseline would be Linux 4.* (ARM 64-bit of course).
I would be considering both the old DL-1* chipsets (there are still some devices on the market, which if I understand correctly would use the udl kernel module) as well as the newer DL-{3,4,5}* chipsets (if I understand correctly, evdi kernel module). Looking at https://displaylink.org/forum/showthread.php?t=64882 (about an attempt to connect about a Rasbperry Pi, from 2016, and the thread looks a bit inconclusive to me) I want to understand my current chances of getting either way running.
Any advice would be welcome.
Thanks, Holger
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