[plug] Xubuntu + Dell XPS + "thunderbolt" HDMI?

Chris McCormick chris at mccormick.cx
Fri May 8 14:58:52 AWST 2020

Hi Geoff, and all,

Thank you very much for your helpful replies. Just a quick update. I 
tried a different converter so the setup now looks like:

Monitor (HDMI F) -> HDMI cable -> HDMI-to-Thunderbolt-3 -> Laptop USB-C

However, still no dice. This is the converter I tried:


I also tried a USB-C to DisplayPort one from Officeworks (which I 
mentioned previously) which didn't work either, although there is some 
action on dmesg saying something about a "billboard" whereas the 
Thunderbolt one reports no messages anywhere that I can see, when I plug 
it in.

I have one more converter coming by mail which I'll try.

Whatever happened to the good old days of staying up until 3:30am 
editing XF86Config?



On 18/4/20 4:15 pm, Geoffrey Richards wrote:
> HDMI (monitor) -> HDMI-to-DisplayLink -> DisplayLink-to-USB-C
> "USB-C to DisplayLink" converter cable
> Hmmmm, i assume you mean DisplayPort, not DisplayLink
> so i don't think this link is applicable.. https://www.displaylink.com/USB-C
> Chris, is this a more accurate representation of your setup?
> monitor hdmi--f> <m--HDMI_v?-to-DisplayPort_v?--m>
> <f--DisplayPort_v?-to-USB-C--m> <f--Thunderbolt 3 port Laptop
> (note the USB-C protocol is a subset of TB3 - they both use the same
> physical port - convenient but confusing)
> what res monitor? 1080p, 2K, 4K,
> what refresh rate? 30/60Hz?
> what version hdmi?
> what version DisplayPort?
> active or passive adapters?
> so many variables...
> you need to be an AV expert these days just to connect a monitor, LOL.
> Can spend all day trying to figure it out.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C#Alternate_Mode_partner_specifications
> so.. it could be one of your adapters that is confusing and blocking the
> signals
> or
> check the laptop TB3 chip driver for what protocols it supports.
> to troubleshoot i'd be simplifying the setup
> a single cable:
> monitor hdmi--f>    <m--HDMI_v2-to-USB-c--m>     <f--TB3 Laptop
> or
> hdmi cable with adapter:
> monitor hdmi--f>    <m--HDMI_v2--m>  <f--HDMI_v2-to-USB-C--m>   <f--TB3
> Laptop
> Regards
> Geoffrey Richards
> geoff at 79.com.au
> -----Original Message-----
> From: plug <plug-bounces at plug.org.au> On Behalf Of Chris McCormick
> Sent: Friday, 17 April 2020 4:47 PM
> To: plug at plug.org.au
> Subject: [plug] Xubuntu + Dell XPS + "thunderbolt" HDMI?
> Hey all,
> In 2017 I bought a new laptop because my laptop stopped working after I
> zapped it. After I got home from the shop I turned my laptop off and on
> again and discovered it was still working *facepalm*. I put the new laptop
> away for later.
> Fast forward to 2020 and I'm upgrading to my "new" laptop. I successfully
> installed Xubuntu on it and then I went to plug my DisplayLink to HDMI
> converter into it and found a weird looking port instead of the DisplayLink
> port. The port on the new laptop looks like a USB-C port with a little
> lightning symbol next to it. Apparently it's called "thunderbolt".
> So I went to Officeworks and bought a "USB-C to DisplayLink" converter
> cable, came back to my office and plugged it in so that I have the following
> cables/converters:
> HDMI (monitor) -> HDMI-to-DisplayLink -> DisplayLink-to-USB-C
> No dice.
> With my existing Dell XPS when I plug in the DisplayLink cable I get the
> "Display: Configure screen settings and layout" app popup and I can
> configure the second HDMI to be above the laptop screen.
> On the new laptop with these cables plugged in the display configuration app
> can't see the monitor at all. I've tried all kinds of
> turning-off-and-on-again, plugging things in in a different order etc.
> but nothing i do causes the monitor to appear.
> Ideas?
> Cheers,
> Chris.
> --
> My tech development newsletter:
> https://mccormick.cx/
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