Kernel agnostic, DisplayLink Debian GNU/Linux driver installer (Debian/Ubuntu/Elementary)

November 29, 2015 – 12:42 pm by Adnan Hodzic

I use DisplayLink at work for multi display setup/Ethernet/etc, all by connecting to a single USB port. Although it’s a nifty little device, its software support isn’t that great.

Only Linux driver they have is for Ubuntu. Which is only optimized to work with 14.04, and latest kernel they support is 3.19!

Their installer script can be modified to work with Debian and Systemd, but even so if you’re using any Linux kernel version other then >=3.14 && <=3.19 you’re not going to have a good time.

displaylink-debian (github)

That’s why I decided to take things in my own hands, and created displaylink-debian.

Tool which allows you to seamlessly install and uninstall DisplayLink drivers on Debian/Ubuntu based Linux distributions..

Supported platforms are:

  • Debian: Jessie 8.0/Stretch 9.0/Sid (unstable)
  • Ubuntu: 14.04 Trusty/15.04 Vivid/15.10 Wily/16.04 Xenial/16.10 Yakkety
  • elementary OS: O.3 Freya/0.4 Loki
  • Mint: 15 Olivia/16 Petra/17.3 Rosa/18 Sarah
  • Kali: 2016.2/kali-rolling

Regardless of which kernel version you’re using.

displaylink-debian licence is GPLv3 and if you’d like to extend it to any other distribution then Debian, be my guest!

  • Martin Herrman

    First of all, thanks for creating and sharing this script. I have just used it on my debian jessie laptop (running custom 4.4 kernel).

    However, it didn’t work flawlesly. On my system sudo is not available. As a result line 85 fails. After removing the sudo command there (I ran the script when I was root), it installed.

    Tomorrow morning at work I will be able to test the result!

  • Martin Herrman

    Unfortunately, doesn’t work.. I’ll post it at the displaylink forum!

  • Kopax Anderson

    Doesnt work for me, the driver install, but I don’t see my screen using xrandr –list-providers while dmesg reconignze my usb device

  • It’s most likely that “displaylink.service” isn’t running. I’ve just added a “Post Installation Guide”, hopefully it’ll help you resolve your problem.

    https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/blob/master/post-install-guide.md

  • Installer as itself works. Please refer to “Post Installation Guide” for more info: https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/blob/master/post-install-guide.md

  • I’d suggest you enable sudo on your system (https://goo.gl/Rwudvz)

    Reason why I didn’t enforce so whole script must be run as root is because root is only necessary for one part of it.

  • Josip Makarevic

    Works like a charm, thanks, great!!

  • Awesome, always glad to hear this.

  • Delf Eldkraft

    I’m running Debian Jessie with 4.5.0-0.bpo.1-amd64 from backports and getting stuck at @ http://paste.debian.net/682447/

    Any clues?

  • I think something went wrong with your kernel headers. Could you please run:

    sudo apt-get install –reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r)

    then, run “./displaylink-debian.sh” and select uninstall

    After uninstall is complete, please install displaylink again (using displaylink-debian) and reboot.

  • It seems like there’s a change in evdi for kernel 4.5 version:
    https://github.com/DisplayLink/evdi/issues/13

    In one of the following days, I’ll add a patch for kernel 4.5.0 compatibility. In meantime, please use the installer with kernel < 4.5

  • Due to changes made to evdi, it wouldn’t build on kernel 4.5. I’ve just patched displaylink-debian, and it will work as expected.

    Please, download the latest version (https://goo.gl/nhUz8r) and let me know if that’s not case.

  • Delf Eldkraft

    I have two nvidia GPU with proprietary drivers running a multi-seat setup. I’m not sure I can use DisplayLink for yet another seat in this case.

    Unfortunately I cannot test it since I no longer have the DisplayLink device. However, thanks for the quick reply and fix Grin

  • Most welcome.

    In case you come across another displaylink device again, you know where you’ll be able to turn back to Smile

  • mjfosc

    Please know that I am grateful that someone has created a script for users that are trying to configure a docking set up with single usb displaylink compatibility under Debian. The unit I’m working with is an i-Tec USB 3.0 Travel Docking Station. I would like to activate the HDMI port with my Debian Stretch kernel 4.5.0-2-amd64. Today I donwloaded the lastest script from https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian and was able to successfully install while being sudo. I read through the guide and realized that I must reboot the system and make sure that displaylink is running by executing the following command:

    systemctl status displaylink.service

    Unfortunately, I am given the following error:

    displaylink.service
    Loaded: not-found (Reason: No such file or directory)
    Active: inactive (dead)

    I searched in your comment sections and other forums and came across the solution of doing a git pull and uninstalling and then reinstalling the script. This did not work for me and I am still stuck with the error above.

    I would also like to know if other users have succeessfully activated the audio within the HDMI port when using this script. I hope I can make this work as I would like this unit to be a full docking solution for my laptop Asus Ultrabook Zenbook UX303.

    I thank you again for all the effort that you have put into making this soluiton available for Linux users.

  • Sorry for delayed reply.

    Could you please try uninstall/install procedure one more time, as many changes were made in the meantime, especially involving kernel 4.5

    Things to also check:

    Is your UEFI disabled? Could be related: https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/blob/master/post-install-guide.md#troubleshooting

    Similar problem? https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/issues/12

  • mjfosc

    Thank you Adnan for posting this information. I will try again with this information. I appreciate your time and assistance.

  • Daniele Bernardi

    My Kali version :
    uname -a
    Linux kali 4.6.0-kali1-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 4.6.4-1kali1 (2016-07-21) i686 GNU/Linux

    The problem :

    Installing driver version: 1.2.65

    DisplayLink Linux Software 1.2.65 install script called: install
    Distribution discovered: Kali GNU/Linux Rolling
    Unsatisfied dependencies. Missing component: Linux headers for running kernel, 4.6.0-kali1-686-pae.
    This is a fatal error, cannot install DisplayLink Linux Software.

    The question : Isn’t compatible yet he Installer ? Linux headers really ARE installed.

  • Could you please report this issue on GitHub? https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/issues

    Thanks

  • Marcus Stickler-Jäger

    Currently it seems NOT to work with Debian 8.0 Using kernel 3.16.0-4 Frown Could anyone suport me?

    Error is as follows:


    marcus@stickler-marcus:~/displaylink-debian-master$ /opt/displaylink/DisplayLinkManager
    /opt/displaylink/DisplayLinkManager: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.21′ not f /opt/displaylink/DisplayLinkManager)

  • It works, please see https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/issues/42#issuecomment-264711774 for more information.

    Also, please report problems under Github issues.

    Thanks!

  • Marcus Stickler-Jäger

    At least issue-fix #37 worked for me:
    https://github.com/AdnanHodzic/displaylink-debian/issues/37

    But it’s running just fine with kernel 3.16.0-4-amd64

    Thanks a lot.

    BR

    Marcus

  • Most welcome and glad to hear that.

  • Marcus Stickler-Jäger

    Hi again,

    beside that I got it working, I have some annoying issue. Every time I switch tabs in Mozilla firefox (v 50.0.2), the picture is not redrawing correctly. Only if I go over with mouse pointer, the area shows up with new content. That happens only with certain websites which use complex layouts, this side included.
    Do anyone has this experience, too? And already a bugfix for that?

  • I’m not 100% sure, but I have a feeling this is related to old kernel + old xserver-xorg packages versions. Especially if you’re using intel hardware, old kernel means old drivers.

    Some of the points in this issue might help you: https://goo.gl/Wo4DzO

    Otherwise, please report this as bug with upstream: https://goo.gl/o6uALw

  • Marcus Stickler-Jäger

    Ok, thanks. I will try that tomorrow at work.
    Actually I bougth the dock for use in company so I don’t have to pay for. But if it’s working fine I consider buying another one for personal use.

    I’ll keep you updated.

    BR

    Marcus

  • Marcus Stickler-Jäger

    It’s getting a never ending story Frown.

    I first tried to upgrade to kernel 4.7 out of jessie-backports. That did not solve the problem but made it even worse. On every screen – the laptop-display included – there is a lag of refreshing mouse-cursor, say the mouse cursor stays as atrifact on last position making it impossible to read anything trying to mark some text e.g.

    So I made a full upgrade to testing (apt-get upgrade) and hoped to get rid of all these problems.

    But now I have the situation, that the two external monitors connected to displaylink device only shows blank screen with mouse cursor but nothing else.

    First time I start the displays KDE/x-server crashes, second time the above happens.

    My start-script is


    xrandr –setprovideroutputsource 1 0 –setprovideroutputsource 2 0
    xrandr –output DVI-I-1-1 –auto –output DVI-I-2-2 –auto

    I have fear to make a dist-upgrade because last time I tried this the whole system was crashed and I had to restore my last disk-backup.

    Could you suggest what to do, beside switching to debian stretch (makeing a clean install) oder even switching to ubuntu?

    Thanks in advance

    Marcus

  • Mar Tin

    same problem.
    uname 4.9.0-1-amd64,
    fb1 present, dlm.service running but no xrandr listproviders entry…

  • Uwe Herczeg

    Hello,

    System: Debian unstable (SID)
    Dock: i-TEC USB3 Dock with USB2/3, Gigabit Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, sound
    Hardware: Lenovo U41-70 Notebook

    installed newest release of the installer and installed the driver. All peripherals like USB, sound and Ethernet Gigabit work flawlessly

    But the externela display attached to the dock remains dark und would not be recognized by the driver? Recognized 2 providers but 3 outputs?

    Some idea ?

    #####################

    root@xxxxxxx: xrandr –listproviders
    Providers: number : 2
    Provider 0: id: 0x44 cap: 0xf, Source Output, Sink Output, Source Offload, Sink Offload crtcs: 3 outputs: 2 associated providers: 0 name:modesetting
    Provider 1: id: 0x11c cap: 0x2, Sink Output crtcs: 1 outputs: 1 associated providers: 0 name:modesetting

    #####################

  • Jose Aguilar

    I have Kali 2016.2
    I get the Following

    Checking dependencies

    unzip is installed
    linux-headers-4.6.0-kali1-amd64 not found! Install? [Y/n] y
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package linux-headers-4.6.0-kali1-amd64
    E: Couldn’t find any package by glob ‘linux-headers-4.6.0-kali1-amd64’
    E: Couldn’t find any package by regex ‘linux-headers-4.6.0-kali1-amd64’
    linux-headers-4.6.0-kali1-amd64 installation failed. Aborting.

  • Benjamin Comley

    Been pulling my hair out trying to get my 3 monitor display working on Ubuntu 16.10 with a Plugable dock. This solved most of my problems. Thank you so much!

  • Most welcome, always glad to hear comments like this one Smile