tfnico
1 Nickel

RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

@Simon: The stock kernel for Ubuntu is 4.4.x for now. `uname -a` will show which one you have.

I definitely had very poor experiences with kernel 4.4.x on both TB16 and WD15. I chose 4.9 because it is a designated LTS version from the kernel developers (not the Ubuntu developers, mind).

I upgraded the kernel myself. It is pretty easy if you are comfortable using the console, sudo and apt-get. Just google "ubuntu upgrade mainline kernel" for instructions.

Regarding installing drivers on Windows, I have no idea which chipset drivers actually end up patching the firmware vs which are just used within Windows. So I simply installed everything I could find inside the categories "Chipset" and "Dock". There are some detailed instructions on what order to install them here, but I just installed them randomly myself.

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RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

@tfnico hmm... it looks like in February Ubuntu brought out Ubuntu 16.04.02 with kernel 4.8. Were you aware of this and what made you go for kernel 4.9 never the less?

I checked my kernel and it's version 4.4 even though I order the laptop well after February. I have asked Dell support about this but no response so far.

Found this link [2] showing how to upgrade Ubuntu 16.04 to 16.04.02 and it looks like by default it does not include upgrading the kernel but there is an option to include the kernel.

Waiting to hear from Dell  before I decide what to do...

[1] wiki.ubuntu.com/.../Support

[2] askubuntu.com/.../upgrade-16-04-2-lts-to-kernel-version-4-8

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tfnico
1 Nickel

RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

@Simon: I got rather desperate back when I was still on the WD15 for fixing the display crashes. So I tried every almost every kernel version as soon as they came out hoping they would fix the issue. Things were already a bit better on 4.6 I think.

I got my laptop in November (right after the 9360 landed in Europe), and besides from the kernel I've followed the regular stock system updates, hence I am now also on Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, with the self-upgraded mainline kernel.

Dell's official stance on the TB16 is that only the Precision Mobile 5520 is officially sujavascript:void(0);pported. So I'm not really expecting much help from them in the near future. I'll just keep updating kernels and firmware and hope things get better over time.

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RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

@tfnico: Thanks for the quick response.

So Dell support walked me through upgrading the kernel from 4.4 to 4.8 and after that the external monitor and suspend / resume problem is fixed! :-)

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RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

Mysteriously on subsequent reboots with kernel 4.8 the bluetooth did not work any more :-( dmesg said "Bluetooth: hci0: Failed to load Intel firmware file (-2)". I fixed it by following the instructions here [1] to re-install the bluetooth firmware.

[1] askubuntu.com/.../ubuntu-16-04-2-on-intel-nuc7i3-bluetooth-not-working

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RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

Mysteriously on subsequent reboots the bluetooth did not work any more :-( dmesg said "Bluetooth: hci0: Failed to load Intel firmware file (-2)". I fixed it by following the instructions here [1] to re-install the bluetooth firmware.

[1] askubuntu.com/.../ubuntu-16-04-2-on-intel-nuc7i3-bluetooth-not-working

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kallee
1 Copper

RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

I've been using the TB-16 for several days and it seems stable. So far I would actually recommend buying it if your use case is the same as mine. Here are a few notes about my setup if it helps anyone else.

  1. I have the XPS 13 9360 running Ubuntu 16.04 and kernel 4.8.
  2. I upgraded the BIOS to version 1.3.5. To do this I could simply put the downloaded .exe in /boot/efi and select BIOS upgrade in the boot menu.
  3. I upgraded the Thunderbolt firmware in the laptop to 3.21.00.008. This could only be done in Windows so I booted Windows 10 from a USB hard drive.
  4. I keep WiFi turned off when docked. If I turn it on then the dock connection will drop every minute or so giving a huge load of PCI error messages in dmesg, or even freeze the laptop completely.
  5. Bluetooth is on because I need it for my mouse, and that doesn't seem to be a problem.
  6. My wired network is 100 Mbit. I haven't tested 1 Gbit, but some other people have reported issues with that. Network appears completely stable. I have a 15 year old switch so there was no need to set 100 Mbit manually.
  7. I have three monitors in the DP, Mini-DP and HDMI ports, all using adapters to DVI. The monitors are only 1280x1024.
  8. Booting with the dock connected is unreliable at best, usually crashing somewhere between GRUB and the login screen. I suspect this might be because WiFi is always enabled at boot. For now I'll just keep booting without the dock and turning it off manually.
  9. The 3.5 mm audio output on the back isn't working, but the headphone jack is fine, so I'm using that instead.

RWHobbs
1 Nickel

RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

I noticed on the parallel TB15 support forum that someone has had success with most issues (bar booting) with the latest 4.12.4 kernel. Has anyone tried this with the TB16? If so, do you aware if there are any issues running the 4.12.4 kernel under Ubuntu 16.04?

hvbakel
1 Nickel

RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

I recently purchased a TB16 dock and I'm running with following configuration:

  • XPS 13 9350
  • One external Dell P2415Q monitor connected through the mini-displayport
  • Keyboard & mouse connected through USB
  • Dell P2415Q monitor built-in USB hub connected through USB
  • Logitech webcam plugged in through the built-in USB hub on the P2415Q monitor
  • Wired ethernet at 1 Gbps
  • Headphones connected through audio port on the front of the dock
  • Ubuntu 16.04 (updated with the latest hardware enablement stack)
  • Kernel 4.12.8 from the ubuntu mainline archive

Before connecting the dock, I updated to the latest BIOS (1.4.18 for the 9350) and also updated the thunderbolt firmware and associated windows drivers according to the instructions provided by tfnico (using a bootable Win10 USB drive).

Much to my relief, everything just worked after connecting. The Gbps ethernet issue was fixed in a recent kernel update (some time around 4.12.4 I believe) and it's been rock stable for the past 3 days with no connection errors. As such, it's no longer necessary to limit the connection speed to 10/100 with the latest kernel (it's possible the patch will be backported to the current Ubuntu kernel). Haven't experienced hangs when I boot with the dock connected, nor when I hotplug or unplug after boot. Also haven't yet run into any suspend/resume issues either in various combinations of plugging and unplugging the dock before/after suspend.

The next 4.13 kernel will apparently include several updates to the thunderbolt infrastructure, including control of security levels and firmware updates. I'm hopeful this will finally allow for native firmware updates without the need for a Win10 USB. All in all it looks like the TB16 is in good shape when running with the latest firmware updates & linux kernel.

hvbakel
1 Nickel

RE: TB16 Dock Linux Support

Just to add, the backport fixing the TB16 ethernet issue is currently in the xenial-proposed repository:

bugs.launchpad.net/.../1667750

It's awaiting verification so perhaps it's worth installing the latest 4.10 hwe kernel from the 'proposed' repository.

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