The only firmware to update is for thunderbolt. In general the (intel) thunderbolt updater do this for all connected devices. But i never tried the updater from Dell.
I have a similar experience as dmayle. I have a TB16 & XPS 9360 with the bios from 1/18/2017. I have 3 x 1920x1200 LCD screens attached to the dock. Running Ubuntu 16.04 updated to kernel 4.10.4 ( same install image as shipped on my machine from the factory ), I can hot dock and everything works on the dock ( Keyboard, Mouse, Audio, Screens ) except the Realtek GB ethernet in the dock. The ethernet is detected and configured, but data is corrupted as it is transfered through the interface. If I turn off the wired adapter and use wireless, then everything works.
I did have to turn off Thunderbolt security, and enabling the boot options for Thunderbolt seems to have helped if connected during boot.
I have some kernel traces that would be useful to a developer wishing to fix the r8152 driver used by the GB ethernet on the TB16 dock. I get both xhci_hcd errors as well as a kernel error "transmit queue 0 timed out".
I'd be interested in working with the sputnik team if possible to debug the issue and get a fix to the r8152 developer ( or even use a more appropriate kernel module if it is being detected incorrectly ).
I know that this threat is for XPS 13, but new XPS 15 9360 is very similar, and:
With Debian Stretch out-of-the-box (Gnome 3) this is the behavour of thunderbolt dock TB16:
- External monitor with HDMI is working perfectly.
- Audio is working perfectly.
- Networking is not working. Ethernet device is detected. First DHCP try gets IP address and networking config, but after first network packets the connection hangs. Not working
- External hard drive connected to USB is working perfectly.
So just the network interface is not working correctly (out of the box).
IMPORTANT: you have to boot with the dock connected. Linux kernel needs to detect while booting: hot connect does not work.
The one thing that consistently hasn't worked for me on WD15 and TB16 is that when I close the laptop lid, it will also shut down external displays. This is annoying. I want to close the lid so that the desktop resizes to the UHD display.
I've got the XPS 13 9360 with stock 16.04.
I got a TB16 from work to try replacing my WD15, which has been causing me a lot of issues: Black screen crash and freezes when logging in, rebooting, when resuming from sleep, or when hot-plugging.
I got the latest BIOS, and tried the latest kernels from 4.4.x and from 4.9.x. I booted onto Windows (from USB drive, pretty neat) and updated all chipsets, drivers and firmware to no avail: my system simply would not behave well with the WD15.
Enter TB16: All problems gone. Even the annoying Chrome flickering on the external display seems to be gone.My 4k monitor hotplugs over DP without problems, whereas with the WD15 it would either go black screen, or have jittery cursor movement at 4k. In any combination of suspending and pulling and plugging the USB-C cable, I cannot make it crash.
My only complaint is the loudness of the TB16, but it's definitely worth it. Whereas I would have to hard-power-off the laptop about every day using the WD15, I have not had to reboot once since I got the TB16.
I also noted some problems with the ethernet connection at work, but at home it was fine - I'm assuming this is because of having a 1 gbps connection at work, and a 100 mbps connection at home.
I'm using XPS 13 9360 (maxed out) with Ubuntu 17.04 (fresh install) with kernel 4.10.0.
I'm using the TB16 dock. I have an up to date BIOS.
I have not been able to update Thunderbolt firmware as it is Windows only from what I can figure out.
Here is what works/doesn't work/my opinion:
All in all I am disappointed in the dock. It's better than nothing given I can use an external monitor with it, but for just one semi-usable port it seems very poor.
I'm generally disappointed in the XPS 13. I had high expectations and had been looking at buying one for months. Now I wish I had chosen something else. I also have the coil whine issue which I suppose is my biggest beef with it, but the experience with this dock has soured me a lot too.
As far as I'm aware, you definitely need the latest chipset drivers in order to use the TB16.
Small tip: If you don't want to dual-boot Windows on the laptop, you can create and boot off a USB drive (which has space enough for Windows 10) using http://www.easyuefi.com/wintousb/
Note that you need a Windows computer in order to use the above software.
You can download a Windows 10 ISO from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO?OCID=WIP_r_Win10_Body_AddPC
Once you are ready to boot off the stick, make sure you disable secure boot and enable legacy boot and all that in the XPS bios. Note that it takes a long time to install and boot Windows on the external drive, but it worked well for me.
I'd love to update the firmware. I don't have any Windows computer, nor any Windows licenses, however. Presumably to use that ISO I would need at least the latter?