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Docking Station Support

Disclaimer

This article is provided for information purposes only. System76 cannot guarantee that all vendors will follow USB-C or Thunderbolt specs, nor that a manufacturer won't have made hardware or firmware changes since this article was created. Not all docks will work on all hardware. Be sure you purchase docking stations from a reputable vendor, with a flexible return policy.

Compatible Intel systems

SystemSupports USB-C Charging?Supports Thunderbolt?
addw1NoYes
addw2NoYes
bonw14NoYes
darp5NoYes
darp6YesYes
darp7YesYes
galp3-bNoYes
galp3-cYesYes
galp4YesYes
galp5YesYes
lemp9YesNo (DisplayPort over USB-C)
lemp10YesYes
serw12NoNo (DisplayPort over USB-C)

A Note About Multi-Monitor Support

Many docking stations offer multiple video-out ports on the dock device itself. However, depending on the technology used by the dock, there may be only one video stream per port. Even if the docking station supports multiple video ports, only one at a time could be active. For example, connecting a docking station with two HDMI ports to a Thunderbolt port on a System76 laptop may only activate one HDMI monitor.

Multi-Stream Transport (MST) is a DisplayPort standard allowing multiple video streams to be sent through a single DisplayPort output on your computer or device. MST is a feature of the DisplayPort standard, so is available on Displayport, Mini-DisplayPort and DisplayPort over USB-C (USB Alt-Mode) connections. Most DisplaytPort outputs support MST, but not all docking stations use this technology to provide multiple display outputs. If you plan to use MST, make sure the hub or dock explicitly mentions MST support.

Alternatively, you can also use MST to daisy-chain two or more monitors together from the laptop or a docking station. This requires that the monitor hardware to support daisy-chaining. MST is often an advertised feature, so check the marketing material or store page for your monitor. If you already have, or have access to the monitor, you can also verify by checking for a DisplayPort output on the monitor, in addition to the normal DisplayPort inputs. A set up with daisy-chaining would look something like the diagram below:

Laptop -> Monitor 1 -> DisplayPort or USB-C Cable -> Monitor 2

System76-tested docks

We have tested the following docks:

  • Plugable UD-CA1A [works with NVIDIA and Intel systems] 1,2,3
    • All features work.

Community-tested docks

Community members have reported that the following docks work with our products:

1 Does not need the DisplayLink Driver installed to work.
2 For video output via DisplayPort over USB-C, the Gazelle 15 (gaze15) requires GTX 1660 Ti graphics; the Gazelle 16 (gaze16) requires RTX 3060 graphics.
3 NVIDIA cards have some minor graphical issues with what is rendered under the mouse as well as scrollbars.

Note: The DisplayLink driver should only be installed if you are using a docking station that requires it. The DisplayLink driver may cause graphical issues with non-DisplayLink devices.

On Intel or AMD graphics systems, you'll need to install the 'dkms' package to install DisplayLink driver. On NVIDIA graphics systems, the NVIDIA driver installs this package automatically.

sudo apt install dkms

Download the newest DisplayLink driver from the linked webpage.

To install the DisplayLink driver, open the Terminal and move to the Downloads directory (the version for the driver may change, so look at the file name and change it accordingly):

cd Downloads
unzip DisplayLink\ USB\ Graphics\ Software\ for\ Ubuntu5.4-EXE.zip
sudo chmod +x displaylink-driver-5.4.0-55.153.run
sudo ./displaylink-driver-5.4.0-55.153.run

To uninstall the DisplayLink driver, use this command:

sudo displaylink-installer uninstall

To install the NVIDIA driver that we provide, see the System76 NVIDIA Driver support article.