[plug] Newbie: USB-C multi-port dock

Onno Benschop onno at itmaze.com.au
Fri Dec 3 19:20:39 AWST 2021

Hey Rob,

It's been a while :-)

What I do is run MacOS as my main OS, then run VMware Fusion with Linux as
my desktop. That way those kinds of drivers are the Mac's problem and
VMware populates the "normal" hardware to whichever VM I point it at - for
example, right now I have a serial device that's connected as /dev/ttyUSB0
to a VM that's running docker, that in turn is using that port to configure
a low power radio beacon.

I chose this setup specifically because of these kinds of issues, but I
understand the desire to dump MacOS. I ran native Linux between 1999 and
2009 or so, but in the end it was just too hard to make odd hardware work.
That said, we are talking several generations of OS, hardware and drivers
ago, so things might have improved.

One of the things you could investigate is USB device IDs. That is, get the
device ID of a device and see what level of support there is in Linux.
That's a non-trivial process, but it's likely to get you closer. The best
candidates in my experience are those pieces of hardware that support all
versions of Windows and MacOS, since they seem to rely on standard
interfaces, giving you the best chance of working under Linux.

I know that this is probably not what you want to hear, and I'm sure others
on the list might expand, or even poke holes in what I've said, but this
has been my experience, having run Linux for over 20 years.

Also, coffee?


On Thu, 2 Dec 2021 at 17:51, Rob Phillips <r.phillips at iinet.net.au> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I am a new member. I am slowly weaning myself off macs (after 35 years)
> because they cost too much and the available peripheral functionality
> continually decreases.
> My progress towards Ubuntu has slowed down because I could not get my OWC
> Thunderbolt 2 multi-port dock to work. The techo stuff about drivers was
> too complicated, despite me being a unix sys prog in the 1980s.
> My current OWC dock is getting flaky (some ports don't work and it's
> overheating).
> This gives me the opportunity to purchase a new dock, and an incentive to
> complete my transition to linux.
> I have been searching around, and the only two docks I found which have
> multiple USB-C ports are:
>    - HyperDrive GEN2: Next Generation USB-C Hub
>    - Anker PowerExpand 13-in-1 USB C Dock
> Questions:
>    - does anyone know of other USB-C docks which will handle: 3+ USB 2/3
>    ports; HDMI or similar; ethernet; extra USB-C ports for peripherals, etc.?
>    - How hard is it to get them working  on Ubuntu (latest production
>    version)?
>    - Can I purchase in Perth?
> Thanks in advance
> Rob
> Rob and Rita Phillips, Ashby St, Wanneroo
> Secretary, Gnangara United Landowners Association
> r.phillips at iinet.net.au
> 0416 065 054
> _______________________________________________
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Onno Benschop

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