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Here is my system setup:

  • ASUS ROG G752VSK with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070 Mobile with driver : nvidia-driver-455 - third-party free recommended (installed from ubuntu nvidia ppa for beta drivers (cause the nvidia driver needs to be updated to work with 2 monitors (otherwise it looses its configuration every boot))
  • RAIDSONIC IB-DK2242AC (DisplayLink/Multiport (Audio, Ethernet, 2 Displayports, USB 3.0 etc)
  • DIGITUS DA-70863 docking station (small issues with ASUS)
  • HP Thunderbolt G2 docking station (works only completely with ZBook after a lot of configuration in BIOS (no real support from HP, tested it out myself)
  • HP Envy 13 Book
  • HP ZBook G5

I would like to find the right configuration for a docking station to work with all 3 laptops.

The best solution to me would be if the external hardware is recognized right after power up. I did find a solution for me, but only after booting OS (Win 10/Ubuntu 20.04 both 64 bit). So if any one has a better solution, please feel free to answer or comment on question or (my own) answer!

I will focus my question on the ASUS ROG G752VSK, because it is causing most trouble as described:

  1. ASUS Laptop boots up, and is available on the internal monitor and internal keyboard/touchpad.
  2. After physically reconnect the RaidSonic hub into the USB 3.1/Thunderbolt plug, all external devices like monitors and usb are detected (mouse/keyboard ready)
  3. Monitors could be configured when having installed at least nvidia-driver-455 third party free from the ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

I want to boot with closed lid of laptop directly to Ubuntu 20.04 login screen with my 2 external full HD Monitors and my USB mouse and keyboard connected, as well as my USB flash drive.

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Prerequisite:

For getting multiple monitors working on many computers (at least at NVIDIA driven computers) on Ubuntu 20.04, you have to install next to the nouveau open source drivers of Nvidia (don't use the proprietary ones, because they have a big chance of causing problems here (at least until 460):

  • The latest displaylink driver for Ubuntu 20.04, for me it was version 5.3.1.34 with following instructions here!:

    $ sudo ./displaylink-driver-5.3.1.34.run

It was absolutely necessary to disconnect the device and that driver installation ends with "Installation complete". "Terminated" is a sign for a failure!! if asked for a reboot do it. Either it works afterwards or you rerun the installation procedure once again! After reboot, also the multiple monitors came to life! Before out of the box, only USB and Sound and network worked.

Getting connected without reconnecting the plug itself:

The solution might be only suitable for ASUS laptops, as it worked for my HP Envy 13 netbook out of the box with any of the tested docking stations. Especially for the ASUS ROG G752VSK the following solution is tested:

It is a bit tricky, the RAIDSONIC device could be waken up with a thunderbolt instruction, I found here:

echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/bus/wmi/devices/86CCFD48-205E-4A77-9C48-2021CBEDE341/force_power
  1. I put this into the crontab file:

    # enter root account
    $ sudo -i 
    # enter crontab
    $ crontab -e
    
  2. Add the following content to crontab (last line):

    @reboot /opt/mountThunderboltUSB3.1.sh
    
  3. Create a script file, for this example here (must fit to the path in the crontab file):

    #!/bin/bash
    # enable Thunderbolt device connected to USB 3.1
    
    echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/bus/wmi/devices/86CCFD48-205E-4A77-9C48-2021CBEDE341/force_power
    
  4. This script will do the job during startup before login screen. It will power on/detect the already hardware connected USB-Hub (in this case from RAIDSONIC, but should work with similar devices as well (like for example Digitus USB Type C DA-70863)

  5. You should configure your monitor configuration with Desktop -> right click -> Display Settings. Turn on / off the monitors like desired, and set the main monitor, afterwards apply.

  6. You have to finally copy the monitor configuration to the the gdm (Gnome Display Manager), to let the configuration also apply to the login screen after boot (/var/lib/gdm3/):

    $ sudo cp -rvf ~/.config/monitors.xml ~gdm/.config/
    
  7. Reboot and it should work now as wished!

  8. Use Xorg instead:

     $ vim /etc/gdm3/custom.conf
    

and uncomment

    WaylandEnable=false

Final remarks:

  • For my HP Envy 13 Book this solution works with both tested docking stations without any changes
  • Only the ASUS ROG G752VSK had issues with the digitus docking station :not detecting mouse/keyboard
  • Nevertheless each docking station or laptop, although supporting thunderbolt/usb-c standard might act different - for me it was hard to find a solution which works either with the HP Zbook G5 (enable Preboot thunderbolt settings with thunderbolt level "user security". again only useful for the not so far mentioned HP Thunderbolt G2 docking station to show up monitors during boot), ASUS ROG G752 VSK and HP ENVY 13 Book. The RAIDSONIC was the best solution for all three, though "blind" during boot up for ASUS and HP ZBook. Especially ASUS in combination with the Digitus surprises with its USB 1.0 incompatibilities.

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