DisplayLink is a technology that enables monitors to work via USB.
Activate the following kernel options:
Device Drivers ---> Graphics support ---> <*> DisplayLink <*> Frame buffer Devices ---> <*> Displaylink USB Framebuffer support
After booting into the new kernel the external monitor should show a green background image. That means the kernel module is loaded and the device works, it also creates the device in /dev/fb0.
If there are other framebuffer devices, it will be /dev/fb1, ...
For X11 drivers, x11-drivers/xf86-video-fbdev or x11-drivers/xf86-video-displaylink from the x11 overlay.
Portage uses the USE_EXPAND variable called VIDEO_CARDS to enable support for various graphics cards in packages. Setting VIDEO_CARDS to appropriate value(s) will pull in the correct driver(s):
Substitute the name of the driver(s) to be used. Common choices include
After setting or altering VIDEO_CARDS values remember to update the system using the following command so the changes take effect:
emerge --ask --changed-use --deep @world
emerge --ask xf86-video-displaylink
One X server
Two X server
This method is failsafe and should work with any graphics card installed. Start two instances of X server for each device and then use a software called x2x to move the input devices between them.
- two independent instances and desktops
- Input devices follow the mouse pointer
For this method, another input device driver called x11-drivers/xf86-input-void is necessary:
INPUT_DEVICES="... void ..."
emerge --ask --changed-use --deep @world
Also install x11-misc/x2x:
emerge --ask x11-misc/x2x
Configure two independent xorg.confs for each device and initialize the desktop using ~/.xinitrc scripts.
Checking other xorg.conf files (including files in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/) may be necessary for any overlap in various names used. See the Discussion page for details.
Create the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.DL:
Section "Device" Identifier "DisplayLinkDevice" driver "displaylink" # Or fbdev depending on what you installed Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb0" # You have to use the correct framebuffer device here EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "DisplayLinkMonitor" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Default Screen" Device "DisplayLinkDevice" Monitor "DisplayLinkMonitor" SubSection "Display" Depth 16 # 24bit works fine but for USB 2.0 a lot of data Modes "1280x1024" EndSubSection EndSection Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "Server Layout" Screen 0 "Default Screen" 0 0 Option "AllowMouseOpenFail" "True" InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer" EndSection Section "ServerFlags" Option "AllowEmptyInput" "false" Option "AutoAddDevices" "false" Option "AutoEnableDevices" "false" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Keyboard0" Driver "void" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "void" EndSection
Next, create the ~/.xinitrc2 for the external display. Create and customize the file to as needed, here is an example:
DPMS is turned off, because I once had trouble to wake up the monitor again.
# DPMS stuff ## turn on monitor xset dpms force on ## disable sleep modes etc. xset -dpms ## disable screensaver xset s off # turn off beep xset -b # activate zapping (ctrl+alt+Bksp killall X) setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp # Set the background using feh feh --bg-scale /usr/share/slim/themes/capernoited/background.jpg # compositoring xcompmgr -c -t-5 -l-5 -r4.2 -o.55 & # start programs wicd-client & mrxvt & # start the actual window manager exec /usr/bin/awesome
This is the actual script that starts the second instance of X server. Make it executable and save it somewhere in your home folder, in this example we save it to ~/.displaylink.sh:
#!/bin/sh xinit ~/.xinitrc2 -- /usr/bin/X :1 -xf86config xorg.conf.DL -novtswitch -sharevts -audit 0 -layout "Screen Layout" vt12 & sleep 5 x2x -west -from :0 -to :1 &
If you call this script to your actual ~/.xinitrc (which is executed on every start of X) or add it to GNOME, KDE, etc. autostart, it will automatically initialize the second desktop for you. If the second screen is not attached, it just fails to do so.
If your system has a /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/, most likely you will need to start with the above -layout option so the X11 server being started will start properly. See the discussion.
DisplayLink 4-in-1 Adapter
It is a USB 3.0 adapter comes with 4 ports:
- One USB 3.0 port
- One Ethernet port
- One HDMI port
- One VGA port
The USB 3.0 port should work if you already have USB 3.0 related kernel configured. To get the Ethernet port work, you need to activate the following kernel options：
Device Drivers ---> <*> Network device support ---> <*> USB Network Adapters ---> -M- CDC NCM support <M> CDC MBIM support
The Ethernet port will be seen as usb0 network device.