At our company we're using Precision 5520 and 5530 with the TB16 thunderbolt 3 dock. About 10 of them are installed with Ubuntu 18.04 (none of the 5530) and the rest having Windows 10 1803.
In Windows we experience issues, where the USB ports either stops working or has reduced performance. Especially USB headset and wireless mouse are affected. A Skype conversation is breaking up, and the mouse pointer is "hacking" when moved over the screen.
In Ubuntu 18.04 the situation is worse. Connecting/disconnecting a USB device can cause both the external screen(s) and internal screen to go black.
Booting up Ubuntu with the docking station connected is working fine, but after disconnecting the TB16 dock, and then reconnecting it, the interna screen goes black, and none of the USB ports (2.0 and 3.0) and display connectors (DP, mDP, HDMI or VGA) are working. If the external monitor(s) are disconnected from the dock, the picture on the internal screen is restored and the USB ports starts working.
As soon as any external monitor are connected to any of the DP, mDP, HDMI or VGA ports, the problem occurs again.
We have the latest TB16 firmware and latest BIOS on the Precision 5520 running Ubuntu. I have also tried downgrading BIOS from 1.12.1 to 1.11.0 and also 1.10.1 but that doesn't make any difference.
Setting Thunderbolt security to 'none' in BIOS has no effect, and changing the setting 'Always allow Dell docks" from enabled to disabled has no impact either.
The Windows 10 laptops has all the latest BIOS and drivers installed, but it has not resolved the USB problem.
I think an overhaul of the TB16 firmware is required to resolve this problem, because it is too unstable.
I use a 7730 and a TB18DC dock, and would experience periods where a USB mouse did not move smoothly, or the USB keyboard had multiple key repeats. Work-around thus far has been to go into BIOS and "Disable C-states". See if that helps.
For the other problems, I'd try BIOS setting "Disable USB Power-Share".
There is a listing of BIOS settings for the 5530 here, but unfortunately, the descriptions are a bit terse:
FWIW - I too experience difficulties adding and removing USB devices from the Dock. I have also experienced instances where the only way I could wake the 3 external displays (HDMI to DVI, miniDP to DVI, and DP to DVI) was to unplug one and plug it back in.
Thanks for your reply. Nor disabling USB power share or C-states has no positive impact. However, when I was troubleshooting this, I used an old Lenovo L2440P monitor connected to the dock via a DVI to Displayport adapter.
This was not the best test case, so when I got hold of a Dell U2518D which we use, I got another test result.
With the U2518D I could undock/dock the TB16 without any issues, but if the built in USB 3 hub in the monitor was connected to the TB16, the picture froze and all USB ports stopped working. Probably the ethernet interface too.
I thought this could have to do with the U2518D firmware, but when I checked it, it had the latest firmware.
The workaround is to connect the monitor USB 3 hub directly to the laptop (if the hub is needed). Other USB devices like keyboard, mouse, headset etc can still be connected to the TB16 on either the USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports, and still work without any issues.
My conclusion: Do not connect the U2518D monitor's USB hub to the TB16. At least not when using the mobile workstation Precision 5520/5530. I have not been able to test if any other USB 3.0 hub will have the same negative impact on the TB16, but I know that the USB 2.0 hub in the Lenovo L2440P monitor did not cause any issue.
Other people in other threads indicated that their keyboard repeat and mouse move issues were mediated when they connected directly to their laptop. Makes sense then that a USB hub, plugged directly into the laptop would be less problematic. There's probably a dock firmware / USB driver issue that is common across the TB16 and TB18DC.
I am using a K 16a dock with a XPS I9 (LINUX OS) that cost a LOT and steel have the same issue.
Hey DELL what is going on , can not use any monitors and if I disconnect the thunderbolt I am losing my mouseability ...
Can you help us ?
Windows works fine, most of the times ....
Linux drivers ??? where, how ?
For what it's worth, I couldn't get the dock (TB16) to work with my XPS 13 when I was running Ubuntu 18.04.
However, it all works great with Ubuntu 19.04 right out of the box -- no configuration.