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Old 05-02-2017, 02:10 PM   #1
Ashark
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Question Please advise usb 3 to hdmi adaptor for Linux

Hello.
I have read a lot about problems with DisplayLink devices in Linux. They all are most 2013 and earlier years. Maybe now situation has changed?

I want to ask your advise about which adaptor is working under Linux? I want to use it in Arch. I know that it is not officially supported, but I think that if some device works on Ubuntu, it is possible to get it working on Arch too.

My wishes:
USB 3.0 (as 2.0 may be too slow)
with HDMI output connector
Supporting Linux
4K resolution is not required (I am ok with 1920x1080)

Also, which generation should I prefer? In ArchLinux Wiki page I can see DL-1xx, DL-3x00, DL-41xx, DL-5xxx, and now even DL-6... are coming, but still not in that page.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Ashark; 05-02-2017 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:16 AM   #2
AlbanRampon
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Hello Ashark,

I will try to summarise a bit, explain and set expectations...

You have two different generations of DisplayLink codec. As everything else at DisplayLink, their name starts with DL!
DL2 is the old codec which I believe is open sourced now. This is not my expertise, so I may be wrong.
DL3 is the more recent codec. It's obviously better and is proprietary as we need to protect ourselves from copies.
The old generation of devices using DisplayLink DL1x5 chip will be using DL2 codec. If you wish to tinker with the driver, you should take that. They are USB 2 but can handle 1080p comfortably.
The newer generation of devices using DisplayLink DL-3000 series and above are using DL3. The chip is USB 3 but also works in USB 2. (It's even in the USB Gold Tree used to test the testers...).

For the resolution you want, you can use either generation. Here is a table of what DisplayLink chip support as resolution. The manufacturers might add components altering the resolution capability so you should look at the finish product datasheet, not only the chip datasheet... The same way looking at a microcontroller datasheet doesn't tell you how it's used in a particular application.

We've been providing drivers for Ubuntu, but as you indicated, they can be ported to other distros. It is however not something we can support: we are a small business and Linux is a minority of the user base.

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:35 PM   #3
Ashark
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Thanks for your response.
Thank you for providing drivers for Ubuntu. There is no problem in porting to other distros. I am happy that I could work in Linux.
Did I get it right, that nowadays drivers for all of generations are available for Linux and I can consider every displaylink powered device as supported?

I am asking because most of sellers do not mention Linux at all or explicitly say that it is unsupported, even in despite of there is ubuntu logo in screenshots and Ubuntu is in list of supported platforms on some OEM's sites. I think they just do not know and do not want take responsibility for incorrect promises.

Lets say that I want specifically this one adapter: https://www.startech.com/AV/USB-Vide...rd~USB32HDDVII
I can see ubuntu in OS compatibility list, so may I expect it work as expected with Linux?

And one another question about HDCP. I do not care of it, just want usb-to-hdmi adapter to work with my laptop, which I think do not use HDCP. So shouldn't I expect any problems with HDCP?

P.S. I do not know how you count user base, but I think that your products could be very usefull for Linux users as well for Mac and Windows. As for me, I work in Linux and need much space for information to be displayed. I am programming for Linux and testing on Linux. I think there are a lot of people like me. Low percentage of Linux users could be caused because of many reasons, including missing drivers for some wanted devices. But again, thank you that you are providing at least binary drivers.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:24 PM   #4
AlbanRampon
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Hello,

That product looks like it's using a DisplayLink DL-3900 chip and therefore uses the closed source driver: http://www.displaylink.com/downloads/ubuntu
The older generation uses another driver.

We mainly use customer (companies buying chips from us) data to determine the user base: we don't design, manufacture or sell any end product, we're a silicon vendor making one chip going into the box... The seller decide what they want to support based on expertise and where they believe they will sell. I agree that there is a kind of chicken-and-egg effect in play. There are also many more Linux flavours than Windows or OS X / macOS and we are quite a small company.

The chipset is HDCP capable, however you won't get end-to-end HDCP on Linux. Communication on the USB link is nonetheless always encrypted for multiple reasons. I agree you don't have to bother with it.

For more specialized Linux questions, I'd advise posting on the Linux board my other colleagues watch as I'm reaching the end of my knowledge on the topic.
You could also have a look at the latest Ubuntu driver release notes to learn about what is known limitations and future developments. (You'll notice the DL-6000 chip is mentioned).

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:13 AM   #5
Ashark
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Ok, thank you for answers.
Will purchase and try it
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