05-13-2017 06:43 AM - edited 05-13-2017 06:43 AM
how good is the Linux support for the ThunderBolt 3 Dockingstation? Are there any drivers or tricks?
As far as I can see only DisplayPort, the power button and loading the laptop are working through it out of the box. Networking and USB are not working.
My setup: T470s, ThunderBolt 3 Dockingstation (40AC0135EU), OS is Antergos (ArchLinux-based, Kernel version 4.10.13)
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05-13-2017 12:33 PM
Update: USB does work if the ThunderBolt and USB device options are enabled in the BIOS in Config / ThunderBolt 3 / Support in Pre Boot Environment. Audio does work too. But ethernet is still not recognized. Does anybody have an idea for that?
05-16-2017 01:54 PM
You may already know that formally the device does not have Linux support. But what I recommend you to do (sadly I don't have that device) is that you try to get the hardware id of the network adapter to see if you can recognize the chipset and find out if it is supported on Linux.
On other docks I notices that the ethernet port is recognized as an USB device. If you can find a tool on Linux to review your USB ports, maybe you can find out the deviceID of the Ethernet chipset.
Sadly from only looking at the support site drivers I can not tell if it has a Realtek or Conexant chipset.
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05-17-2017 07:18 PM
Since the price of the Lenovo dock is insane, I opted for a small little third party one, which is here. It has 4 outputs --HDMI, VGA, USB3 and Ethernet-- and all of them work perfectly in Linux, including the Ethernet port (Ubuntu 16.04, on kernels ranging from 4.8 to 4.10). So what you want your dock to do is at least possible.
07-22-2017 10:06 AM
They are pricy.
But I now have 3 external monitors hooked up to one, plus ethernet and a wireless keyboard.
To get USB on the docking station to work in Linux I had to disable security for Thunderbolt connections in the BIOS. I'm not sure what the security got me, so I'm ok with that.
Now, if only we could use the docking station for charging, I would be over the moon.
07-22-2017 10:15 AM - edited 07-22-2017 01:06 PM
if you use the type-c connector on the back of the dock you can charge the laptop.
Thunderbolt 3 "security" is there to prevent untrusted hardware to access the guts of your computer, but surely an "insecure" docking station is better than a not-working docking station
the ethernet adapter is r8152, but the driver doesn't seem to be available on Ubuntu 16.04
07-22-2017 12:57 PM
Thank you for the information that the ethernet adapter is a Realtek r8152. Arch users can find the package r8152-dkms in the AUR which works fine for me. Finally all that I need to connect to my laptop is the USB-C connector of the docking station
07-22-2017 05:20 PM
Ok, I'm over the moon. Thanks for pointing out that connector on the back.
I'm using Debian Stretch, and it is using the cdc_ether driver for the Thunderbolt dock's USB. dmesg shows the following when I just unplugged the the Thunderbolt cable to move it to the back connector:
[32550.814629] cdc_ether 6-1:2.0 enx0050b6898083: unregister 'cdc_ether' usb-0000:41:00.0-1, CDC Ethernet Device
[32557.624319] cdc_ether 6-1:2.0 eth0: register 'cdc_ether' at usb-0000:41:00.0-1, CDC Ethernet Device, 00:50:b6:89:80:83
Can I just say how surprised I am that everything on this is working (mostly) out of the box. I plugged in 3 monitors and they all work. No drivers or anything. I changed a bios setting after getting the hint here and the usb ports on the dock work.
I do seem to be limited to 3 screens. It won't let me laptop's display and the 3 external monitors at the same time. It does recognize them all, but only lets 3 be active at once. Given I couldn't have three external monitors on my old docking station, though, this is wonderful.