DisplayLink #3 – Ubuntu 9.10 (32 bit)

Well, it’s time to see if I can get my DisplayLink device working on an old dying laptop using Ubuntu 9.10 (32 bit) – so here goes.

Install Ubuntu 9.10 (32 bit).  Once finally installed and booted lets drop to a console (via Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and do some stuff.

Start by updating the package list:

sudo apt-get update

Then download and install any package & system updates:

sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then download some packages we’ll need later:

sudo apt-get install build-essential xorg-dev libusb-dev git-core

Reboot (via console or other means):

sudo shutdown -r now

Once the system is back up drop to a console and get the following package (I’m saving it to the Desktop):

cd Desktop
wget http://projects.unbit.it/downloads/udlfb-0.2.3_and_xf86-video-displaylink-0.3.tar.gz

NOTE: this package takes FOREVER to download.

Extract the package and delete the udlfb directory it contains (we’ll get a newer udlfb library in a bit):

tar xzvf udlfb-0.2.3_and_xf86-video-displaylink-0.3.tar.gz
rm -rf udlfb

Get the latest udlfb and build it:

git clone http://git.plugable.com/webdav/udlfb
cd udlfb
sudo make install

Compile the DisplayLink X driver:

cd ../xf86-video-displaylink
./configure && make
sudo make install
sudo shutdown -r now

You should now be able to plug in your DisplayLink device and see the green screen.

Now, here’s where things may get a bit difficult – setting up an xorg.conf file.  Modern distros don’t ship with xorg.conf’s anymore so it’s up to the end user to create one when one is needed.  Also, since this laptop doesn’t have an ATI or NVIDIA card there’s no proprietary driver to install (that would then automatically set up an xorg.conf file for me).  I’m creating a xorg.conf file based on this previous DisplayLink blog entry.

Some things to note:

  • Which /dev/fb* entry maps to the DisplayLink device.  You can see this by unplugging the device, doing an ‘ls‘ in the /dev directory, then plugging back in the device and doing another ‘ls‘ and seeing which entry was just added.
  • The ‘BusId‘ of the non-DisplayLink video card.  This can be obtained through lspci and is needed in the xorg.conf file.
  • Be sure to modify /etc/gdm/Init/Default to contain the following blurb right after the definition of the gdmwhich() function (this is taken from Patrick Gilmore’s blog):
  • XRANDR=`gdmwhich xrandr`
    if [ "x$XRANDR" != "x" ] ; then
      $XRANDR -o 0

Once you do/know these things you can start tailoring your xorg.conf.  Creating the xorg.conf file is above the scope of this blog and highly dependent on your own computers’ specific hardware.  However, here is how mine turned out:

# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)

############ Original Video Settings ###########

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
	Driver		"intel"
        BusID           "PCI:0:2:0"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
        Device          "Configured Video Device"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth   24
                Modes   "1280x800"


Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Server Layout"
        Screen  0       "DisplayLinkScreen" 0 0
        Screen  1       "Default Screen" LeftOf "DisplayLinkScreen"
        Option          "Xinerama" "off"


Section "Files"
        ModulePath      "/usr/lib/xorg/modules"
        ModulePath      "/usr/local/lib/xorg/modules"
	ModulePath	"/usr/local/lib/xorg/modules/drivers"

############### DisplayLink Stuff ###############

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "DisplayLinkDevice"
        driver          "displaylink"
        Option  "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "DisplayLinkMonitor"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "DisplayLinkScreen"
	Device          "DisplayLinkDevice"
        Monitor         "DisplayLinkMonitor"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth   16
		Modes   "1280x1024"

Some pictures:

  1. Green screen
  2. Both monitors working

12 Responses to DisplayLink #3 – Ubuntu 9.10 (32 bit)

  1. Von Riptuer says:

    I’ve followed your 9.10 guide to get a usb->dvi displaylink adapter working under Ubuntu 9.10. Both screens work in X. However, I cannot get the gdm login window to render on either screen (it is drawn off the top left of the displaylink screen). Once logged in, all my panels are only visible on the non-displaylink screen. Also, I cannot get any right-click menus to render on the displaylink screen. (The desktop shows correctly, and the icons on the desktop are appropriately positioned on the displaylink screen). The other oddity is that when I select shutdown, logout, restart, etc from the shutdown menu, the 60second confirmation prompt renders in the top-left corner of the displaylink screen.

    Would you by chance be experiencing any of these issues in your setup? If not, would you have any insight as to how to correct the above mentioned issues?

    Von Riptuer

    • Mulchman says:

      Hi Von,

      Have you made the proper changes to /etc/gdm/Init/Default (adding the snippet bit after the gdmwhich function)? W/o the snippet added you get the behavior you describe. There are some users who still, after applying the snippet, have what you describe and I don’t know how to fix that.

      I did submit a small patch to xf86-video-displaylink that addresses this issue but I’m not sure if it’s made it yet.

  2. Von Riptuer says:

    Yes, I have applied the `gdmwhich xrandr` changes to /etc/gdm/Init/Default. Although, I have read in the forums for freedesktop.org, that the newer versions of udlfb (like v0.4 which I have installed) this is no longer necessary. And to that extent, I get the exact same results with the `gdmwhich xrandr` as I do when I have it commented out.

    Of curiosity, what were the changes that you have suggested for xf86-video-displaylink?

    Von Riptuer

  3. Von Riptuer says:

    Apparently, the issues that I were experiencing have now been completely resolved thanks to updates to Xorg that have been released for Ubuntu 9.10.

  4. Hi,
    I’m trying download udlfb-0.2.3_and_xf86-video-displaylink-0.3.tar.gz but is impossible get more than 17%

    $ wget http://projects.unbit.it/downloads/udlfb-0.2.3_and_xf86-video-displaylink-0.3.tar.gz
    –2010-05-03 22:22:56– http://projects.unbit.it/downloads/udlfb-0.2.3_and_xf86-video-displaylink-0.3.tar.gz
    Resolved projects.unbit.it…
    Conected at projects.unbit.it||:80… conected.
    A requisição HTTP foi enviada, aguardando resposta… 200 OK
    Size: 520478 (508K) [application/x-gzip]
    Saving on: “udlfb-0.2.3_and_xf86-video-displaylink-0.3.tar.gz

    17% [=============== ] 89734 –,-K/s

  5. Mulchman says:

    Renato, I have the same problem when downloading that file; it literally takes 20 minutes or so to finish. There’s also a git repo that contains the same source on plugable if you can find it.

    I think this is it: git clone http://git.plugable.com/webdav/xf-video-udlfb

  6. Ryan Becker says:

    I am having a problem with this guide. I am doing it on Ubuntu 10.04. When I attempt to do a make in xf86-video-displaylink, I get this:
    displaylink.c:49:27: error: xf86Resources.h: No such file or directory
    displaylink.c:50:21: error: xf86RAC.h: No such file or directory
    displaylink.c: In function ‘DisplayLinkPreInit’:
    displaylink.c:285: error: ‘struct _ScrnInfoRec’ has no member named ‘racMemFlags’
    displaylink.c:285: error: ‘RAC_FB’ undeclared (first use in this function)
    displaylink.c:285: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
    displaylink.c:285: error: for each function it appears in.)
    displaylink.c:285: error: ‘RAC_COLORMAP’ undeclared (first use in this function)
    displaylink.c:285: error: ‘RAC_CURSOR’ undeclared (first use in this function)
    displaylink.c:285: error: ‘RAC_VIEWPORT’ undeclared (first use in this function)
    displaylink.c:287: error: ‘struct _ScrnInfoRec’ has no member named ‘racIoFlags’
    make[2]: *** [displaylink.lo] Error 1
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/ryan/xf86-video-displaylink/src’
    make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/ryan/xf86-video-displaylink’
    make: *** [all] Error 2
    Any help would be appreciated.

  7. A Pater says:

    Same problem as Ryan Becker here.
    Please help.

  8. Michael Quiniola says:

    Thank you, I found that this worked, but if I boot my computer with the screen on it freezes on Loading Hardware Drivers and Loading Bluetooth (LinuxICE ubuntu 9.04).
    I got the screen to work if i turn it on after the bluetooth part passes.

  9. Cory says:

    Hi Mulchman, first let me thank you for the guides you made regarding display link and ubuntu. I have found them very, very helpful.

    Anyway, using your guide(s), I was able to get DisplayLink working (as in, display on two monitors and the mouse – but nothing else – could move between them) on ubuntu 9.10.

    However, after recently going through a series of distro-upgrades to ubuntu 11.04, I no longer even achieve green screen.

    I was wondering/hoping that you might have some insight on the topic.

  10. Pete Lorenzo says:

    I’m having the same problems as Ryan Becker and Michael Quiniola. when I first got the device, I couldn’t boot my desktop with the usb display adapter connected, or my system would lock up early into boot. so I came across your blog here http://web.archive.org/web/20130127024933/http://mulchman.org/blog/?tag=displaylink I’m compiling the driver, but it fails when running ./configure && make

    make all-recursive
    make[1]: Entering directory `/root/xf86-video-displaylink’
    Making all in src
    make[2]: Entering directory `/root/xf86-video-displaylink/src’
    /bin/sh ../libtool –tag=CC –mode=compile gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I.. -fvisibility=hidden -I/usr/include/xorg -I/usr/include/pixman-1 -g -O2 -MT displaylink.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/displaylink.Tpo -c -o displaylink.lo displaylink.c
    libtool: compile: gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I.. -fvisibility=hidden -I/usr/include/xorg -I/usr/include/pixman-1 -g -O2 -MT displaylink.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/displaylink.Tpo -c displaylink.c -fPIC -DPIC -o .libs/displaylink.o
    displaylink.c:49:27: fatal error: xf86Resources.h: No such file or directory
    compilation terminated.
    make[2]: *** [displaylink.lo] Error 1
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/root/xf86-video-displaylink/src’
    make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/root/xf86-video-displaylink’
    make: *** [all] Error 2

    I’m running fedora 14, reinstalling to 18 soon. also, before I even ordered it, I did expect there to be problems with it on linux, and I would one day get it working, and all will be good. in all fairness, it has other bugs on windows.

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