I updated to BIOS 1.2.0 about 2.5 days ago. I have been optimistic until now as the dock has appeared to work more reliably but I am sad to say I just got 2 blackouts within a minute when my machine was under load (running Virtualbox in this case). It did not recover after the second blackout so I had to unplug/replug the dock, as I have experienced plenty of times before. I am on Arch Linux with kernel 5.8.7 and had also patched my CPU microcode to 0x9e (BIOS 1.2.0 patches it from 0x78 to 0x96).
I borrowed an additional WD19TB dock to see if it was something funny hardware-wise. The second dock behaved exactly the same: blinking, monitors disconnecting, not seeing display source without reboot, freezing.
I told a co-worker about this and he suggested I use a OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock. 2 days now and it hasn't blinked, not yet anyway (Using Ubuntu Linux 20.04 with BIOS 1.2.0); so far I'm cautiously optimistic.
Needless to say, Dell docks are a bit of a bad word at my workplace. We've encountered chronic issues with them regardless of whether one uses Windows or Linux.
Hello guys, I have an intriguing discovery to share.
I've just did the most basic simple stuff, unplugged one of my monitors and guess what? Now the dock is working perfectly. And that is where things get weird.
If I try to use my Dell 1440p on DisplayPort I have all the same issues, but if I try to use ONLY my Alienware 1080p on HDMI it does work flawless, i've put the computer to sleep, plugged, unplugged, tuned the dock off and on again, leave it for 20 minutes, put the laptop to sleep, everything. I didn't break it, it just worked fine.
Somehow i think the issue is related to the DP ports on the back, I don't know for sure because i've only have two monitor and those cables are a mess, I cannot try my Alienware on HDMI or my Dell on DP.
I want to try a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter on the TB port on the dock for the other screen because it would use another TB lane and another converter (not the one inside the dock), maybe that is a workaround. I'll keep you guys updated.
Interesting. I am also experiencing the problems with two monitors plugged to the DP of the dock. If this turns out to be true, maybe Dell engineers could even fix the problem in the next firmware update ... ?
I am now also trying the setup proposed by @h0m3 . One external monitor is directly connected to the dock via the HDMI port, the second external monitor is connected via a USB-C to DP adapter which is connected to the thunderbolt port of the dock. So far so good. I'll keep you posted.
I can confirm,
Plugging in a monitor trough HDMI seems to work fine, up to 1080p that's it. I had some issues running a monitor at 1440p on HDMI. DP doesn't seem to work. I think there's something related to Dells implementation of MST (Multi Stream Transport) Protocol. Upon some research, I've found that the dock takes one DP signal and use MST to split that signal to three monitors, the HDMI output is actually a DP to HDMI converter, thats why, on xrandr for instance, the HDMI port is called DP3-3. For some reason, when you connect a monitor though this adapter on the HDMI port those flaws don't show up, but when you try to split the signal or use the DP directly we hit a problem.
The Thunderbolt port works because the dock only uses 4 Thunderbolt lanes (Thunderbolt has 8 available lanes) to all its peripherals, those other four are redirected to the USB-C Thunderbolt port and on the dock there's a single display output being split into multiple screen trough MST. When you use a TB to DP or TB to HDMI trough the USB-C Thunderbolt port you're actually using another display output in the other 4 lanes that are totally separated from the dock itself. That is important because you need a USB-C Thunderbolt to HDMI/DP Adapter because there's another type of USB-C to HDMI/DP adapter which uses DisplayLink and its a whole other mess on Linux. I wasn't actually sure that this solution would work, but thanks to @3headedmonkey we know that a workaround is to run a display trough HDMI and the other trough the Thunderbolt port on the dock itself.
This thread has a far better explanation that i can ever do: https://www.dell.com/community/Latitude/Demystifying-Dell-WD19TB-supported-display-resolutions/td-p/...
I have been a regular Dell XPS 13 user over the years. The 2020 is my fourth. All others.. Worked like a charm.
This.. With the Dell WD19TB is a disaster. If Dell wants me to by another Dell laptop, or recommend Dell XPS to anyone from now on. Please look into this issue.
Most often X crashes. Sometimes one or two USB-devices get lost. Sometimes all. Sometimes the dock needs a reboot. User experience... FRUSTRATING.
I have installed latest BIOS (1.2.0) to no help at all and running updated Fedora Linux 32 on a Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.30GHz × 8 Dell XPS 2020.