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#1 2020-02-17 17:27:57

newsboost
Member
Registered: 2016-07-24
Posts: 51

Dell Docking Station WD19TB+Dell Alienware 15R4 - thunderbolt usb-c?

Hi all,

I have a Dell Alienware 15R4 laptop and am trying to connect a Dell Docking Station WD19TB through a Thunderbolt usb-c cable. It works "plug-and-play" under Windows, I just plug the usb-c thunderbolt cable in and things are working. By "it works" I mean: I can see the output of my two displayport-connected monitors. However, on Arch Linux, the story is different, I only see my laptop screen and not the two connected monitors, through the Docking Station. I fear that Dell don't want to support anything that doesn't run Windows, so I thought my time was better spent asking here. I've tried to look here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_TB16 - but don't see what I'm doing wrong. A few comments:

1) I don't see any option to disable thunderbolt security in the BIOS, for this laptop - I didn't see anything about thunderbolt in the BIOS.
2) I have updated to the latest BIOS (November 2019, it's fairly new).
3) From the wiki it also says "Use boltctl to temporarily authorize or permanently enroll the dock and cable" - but I only see the Dock - not the cable...? Do any of you know what can/could be the cause of this (and remember the docking station *works* under Windows, so the cable should be ok, shouldn't it?)?
4) I've read e.g. "You can’t use docking devices for gaming. As you’re seeing the nvidia GPU doesn’t drive that device and there’s no way to change that." - but I don't need it for gaming, just for work. In other words, I don't care if any nvidia 3D/ g-sync / VR / 4K (or higher) doesn't work. I wish to work with 2 external monitors, at a resolution of around 2500x2000 pixels (can't remember the exact resolution, you'll know what I mean).
5) Should the ACL be empty? See the commands below:

# tbtadm devices
0-1	Dell	WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock	authorized	not in ACL

# tbtadm acl
ACL is empty

6) And then some further output, as I'm trying to figure out the problem and solution:

# tbtadm approve-all
Found domain "/sys/bus/thunderbolt/devices/domain0"
Found child "/sys/bus/thunderbolt/devices/domain0/0-0/0-1"
Authorizing "/sys/bus/thunderbolt/devices/domain0/0-0/0-1"
Already authorized

# boltctl list
 ● Dell WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock
   ├─ type:          peripheral
   ├─ name:          WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock
   ├─ vendor:        Dell
   ├─ uuid:          00f3111c-e65e-d400-ffff-ffffffffffff
   ├─ status:        authorized
   │  ├─ domain:     d5010000-0090-8f08-2373-5318eca06a22
   │  └─ authflags:  none
   ├─ authorized:    2020-02-17T11:00:29 UTC
   ├─ connected:     2020-02-17T10:48:02 UTC
   └─ stored:        2020-02-17T11:00:29 UTC
      ├─ policy:     auto
      └─ key:        no

#  dmesg -H | grep -i thunderbol
[  +0,513179] thunderbolt 0-1: device disconnected
[  +0,000086] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: can't change power state from D3hot to D0 (config space inaccessible)
[  +0,000068] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: unexpected hop count: 1023
[  +0,000058] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: cannot enable MSI, aborting
[  +0,000041] thunderbolt: probe of 0000:0c:00.0 failed with error -28
[  +0,000211] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
[  +0,427117] thunderbolt 0-1: new device found, vendor=0xd4 device=0xb070
[  +0,000001] thunderbolt 0-1: Dell WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock
[  +1,127131] thunderbolt 0-1: device disconnected
[  +0,025964] thunderbolt 0-1: new device found, vendor=0xd4 device=0xb070
[  +0,000002] thunderbolt 0-1: Dell WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock
[  +0,506385] thunderbolt 0-1: device disconnected
[  +0,000391] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: can't change power state from D3hot to D0 (config space inaccessible)
[  +0,000227] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: unexpected hop count: 1023
[  +0,000094] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: cannot enable MSI, aborting
[  +0,000181] thunderbolt: probe of 0000:0c:00.0 failed with error -28
[  +0,000722] thunderbolt 0000:0c:00.0: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
[  +0,422751] thunderbolt 0-1: new device found, vendor=0xd4 device=0xb070
[  +0,000001] thunderbolt 0-1: Dell WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock


# fwupdmgr get-topology
Alienware 15 R4
│
├─Thunderbolt Controller:
│     Device ID:           ab98e046d9434ccafc255e85883091394955de1d
│     Summary:             Unmatched performance for high-speed I/O
│     Current version:     33.00
│     Vendor:              Dell (TBT:0x00D4)
│     GUIDs:               0ecf005c-7bd0-50b4-ba19-b8a600ac3e11 ← TBT-00d40876-native
│                          3afc7f1d-e73b-5951-b1b2-834a45d6cda9 ← TBT-00d40876-native-0000:0c:00.0
│     Device Flags:        • Internal device
│                          • Updatable
│                          • Requires AC power
│                          • Device stages updates
│   
├─Thunderbolt controller in Dell dock:
│     Device ID:           b7587c3cf7eeea8db9f3592e14a89a62674b79e9
│     Summary:             Thunderbolt controller
│     Current version:     40.00
│     Vendor:              Dell Inc. (TBT:0x00D4)
│     Install Duration:    22 seconds
│     GUID:                c94770ca-1773-592c-b20a-e87243bc7cd0 ← TBT-00d4b070
│     Device Flags:        • Updatable
│                          • Requires AC power
│                          • Supported on remote server
│                          • Device stages updates
│   
├─
│     Device ID:           496f5edf66f7a9e8cb0c7531a11b1f1ed583e8ea
│     Current version:     16.0.1
│     Vendor:              DMI:Alienware
│     GUID:                45494c41-574e-4552-0920-0701414d4920
│     Device Flags:        • Internal device
│                          • Updatable
│                          • Requires AC power
│                          • Needs a reboot after installation
│                          • Device is usable for the duration of the update
...
...
└─VMM5331 in Dell dock:
      Device ID:           7c2dd454e6f29453896a4824e8234317d237f8c5
      Summary:             Multi Stream Transport controller
      Current version:     5.03.10
      Vendor:              Dell Inc. (DRM_DP_AUX_DEV:0x06CB)
      Install Duration:    1 minute
      GUIDs:               f15aa55c-9cd5-5942-85ae-a6bf8740b96c ← MST-panamera
                           89fec0b6-6b76-5008-b82c-5e5c6c164007 ← MST-panamera-vmm5331-259
                           a26f73f2-3738-59a4-aa9c-5f45109eed21 ← MST-panamera-259
      Device Flags:        • Updatable
                           • Requires AC power
                           • Supported on remote server
                           • Device stages updates
                           • Device is usable for the duration of the update

# fwupdmgr refresh                                                                                                                                                                    
Fetching metadata https://cdn.fwupd.org/downloads/firmware.xml.gz                                                                                                                     
Downloading…             [***************************************]                                                                                                                    
Fetching signature https://cdn.fwupd.org/downloads/firmware.xml.gz.asc                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                      
Successfully downloaded new metadata: 3 local devices supported                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      
# fwupdmgr update                                                                                                                                                                     
No upgrades for Thunderbolt controller in Dell dock: current version is 40.00: 40.00=same                                                                                             
No upgrades for Unifying Receiver: No releases found: Device Unifying Receiver doesn't support com.logitech.unifyingsigned, Bootloader is not compatible                              
No upgrades for VMM5331 in Dell dock: current version is 5.03.10: 05.03.10=same                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      

-- Logs begin at Thu 2019-09-26 04:05:42 CEST, end at Mon 2020-02-17 18:26:52 CET. --
Feb 17 12:00:31 alien boltd[864]: probing: timeout, done: [2865667] (2000000)
Feb 17 12:00:29 alien boltd[864]: [00f3111c-e65e-WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock    ] udev: device changed: authorized -> authorized
Feb 17 12:00:29 alien boltd[864]: [d5010000-0090-domain0                    ] bootacl: adding newly stored device to bootacl
Feb 17 12:00:29 alien boltd[864]: [00f3111c-e65e-WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock    ] authorize: finished: ok (status: authorized, flags: 0)
Feb 17 12:00:27 alien boltd[864]: [00f3111c-e65e-WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock    ] authorize: authorization prepared for 'user' level
Feb 17 12:00:27 alien boltd[864]: probing: started [1000]
Feb 17 11:48:05 alien boltd[864]: probing: timeout, done: [2999990] (2000000)
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [00f3111c-e65e-WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock    ] dbus: exported device at /org/freedesktop/bolt/devices/00f3111c_e65e...
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [00f3111c-e65e-WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock    ] labeling device: Dell WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [00f3111c-e65e-WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock    ] device added, status: connected, at /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.2/0000:0a:00.0/0000:0b:00.0/0000>
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [d5010000-0090-Alienware 15 R4            ] dbus: exported device at /org/freedesktop/bolt/devices/d5010000_0090...
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [d5010000-0090-Alienware 15 R4            ] labeling device: Dell Alienware 15 R4
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [d5010000-0090-Alienware 15 R4            ] device added, status: authorized, at /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.2/0000:0a:00.0/0000:0b:00.0/000>
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [d5010000-0090-domain0                    ] connected: as domain0 [user] (/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.2/0000:0a:00.0/0000:0b:00.0/0000:0c:00>
Feb 17 11:48:02 alien boltd[864]: [d5010000-0090-domain0                    ] bootacl: synchronizing journal

I'm using "extra/nvidia 440.59-8" nvidia graphics driver:

# lspci | grep -i NVIDIA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP104BM [GeForce GTX 1070 Mobile] (rev a1)
01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GP104 High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)

I've earlier tried to load the builtin Intel graphics card driver, but I gave up after some hours - it's like either there was no display or the nvidia driver wasn't completely removed, thus the nouveau-driver also didn't work for me (maybe I screwed up). I hope some of you have some great advice/suggestions/ideas about how to continue from here and I hope I've described the problem sufficiently, thanks!

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#2 2020-02-18 16:43:40

newsboost
Member
Registered: 2016-07-24
Posts: 51

Re: Dell Docking Station WD19TB+Dell Alienware 15R4 - thunderbolt usb-c?

FOLLOW-UP:

I've made some 2 improvements:

1)
It seems I've solved part of the problem: The following command seemed like it gave the wrong output:

# tbtadm acl
ACL is empty

I then did something like:

# tbtadm add 0-1
Added to ACL

# tbtadm devices
0-1	Dell	WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock	authorized	in ACL

So, now the T-dock has been added to the ACL.


2) I installed bumblebee (pacman -S bumblebee & # gpasswd -a my-user-account bumblebee & rebooted), because I had a feeling that the problem is related to the dGPU / nvidia and it might be better to use the built-in Intel GPU. After rebooting, something interesting happens:

For the first time, there's some output on one of the 2 connected monitors + output on the laptop monitor. Currently, the external monitor (connected through thunderbolt) has a black screen with a mouse cursor in it. If I press CTRL+ALT+F1, F2, F3 etc (can't remember which one, you'll get the picture, though), it swaps my "active workscreen" away from the laptop - and to the connected thunderbolt monitor: More precisely: It's like the GNOME Display Manager (GDM) - login screen is on the external monitor. But After I enter the password and login, my working screen is on the laptop monitor... CTRL+ALT+F2 moves focus away from the laptop monitor and back to GDM - display manager, where I can login again, while the laptop screen blanks out... I can't explain this - anyone know if GDM could be running on either nvidia/intel GPU? CTRL+ALT+F7 gets me back to my working screen - the laptop monitor... However - xrandr doesn't show anything else, but the laptop screen:

# xrandr --listproviders
Providers: number : 1
Provider 0: id: 0x1b8 cap: 0x0 crtcs: 4 outputs: 4 associated providers: 0 name:NVIDIA-0

# xrandr -q
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 32767 x 32767
HDMI-0 disconnected primary (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-0 connected 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 194mm
   1920x1080     60.02*+  48.03  
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

This is *definately* progress. I can "work with the externally connected monitor now" (only login - not real "work"). While that happens, the laptop monitor will then be black with a mouse cursor, like it's a deactivated X-server running there or something - or like nvidia is on one monitor and intel on the other? This in any case seems to confirm that the problem *is* related to nvidia/intel built-in GPU... However, there's still some problems, e.g:

 optirun glxgears -info
[ 1308.110891] [ERROR]The Bumblebee daemon has not been started yet or the socket path /var/run/bumblebee.socket was incorrect.
[ 1308.111002] [ERROR]Could not connect to bumblebee daemon - is it running?

# systemctl status bumblebeed.service
● bumblebeed.service - Bumblebee C Daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/bumblebeed.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
     Active: activating (auto-restart) (Result: exit-code) since Tue 2020-02-18 17:40:23 CET; 7s ago
    Process: 4612 ExecStart=/usr/bin/bumblebeed (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
   Main PID: 4612 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)


# dmesg -H | grep -i bumblebee
[  +5,454876] audit: type=1130 audit(1582043119.512:118): pid=1 uid=0 auid=4294967295 ses=4294967295 msg='unit=bumblebeed comm="systemd" exe="/usr/lib/systemd/systemd" hostname=? addr=? terminal=? res=success'
[  +0,000010] audit: type=1131 audit(1582043119.512:119): pid=1 uid=0 auid=4294967295 ses=4294967295 msg='unit=bumblebeed comm="systemd" exe="/usr/lib/systemd/systemd" hostname=? addr=? terminal=? res=success'
.....
.... (many similar lines of output, skipped)

I also tried to uncomment the "#WaylandEnable=false" line in /etc/gdm/custom.conf + rebooting. Now, everything isn't working again (only laptop screen). I suppose this means that without Wayland, we're back to the "default" where no signal is coming through the thunderbolt-cable to the docking station. But with the default (using Wayland), I get the GDM login screen on the external monitor attached to the docking station, via thunderbolt... I need to understand what's going on...

Anyone got a clue or can explain/elaborate something about what's going on? It's the first time I'm using bumblebee also - got no clue why the bumblebeed-service has exited due to a failure... But maybe if I resolve that problem, the thunderbolt docking station + externally connected monitors will work? Anyone? Any feedback is greatly appreciated, thanks!

Last edited by newsboost (2020-02-18 17:39:53)

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#3 2020-04-09 10:21:47

javex
Member
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 72

Re: Dell Docking Station WD19TB+Dell Alienware 15R4 - thunderbolt usb-c?

I know this threat is quite old but it doesn't look like you've found a solution. I don't have a WD19TB myself and found this thread because I was researching whether to upgrade from the TB16 with which I had/have quite a few issues. I will share with you what I can but it is not much.

* I used to own a dual GPU laptop and tried to do the whole bumblebee thing way back when. I'm sure things have progressed since then, but it was so awful back then (this ~2012) that my next laptop was decidedly not the XPS 15 but the XPS 13 because it came without the extra GPU. This ties in with my next item.
* With the TB16, the one thing that always works when plugging in is the two displays. Sometimes everything works, but sometimes USB & Network don't work, only the displays. I had issues with sound but I'm routing that through HDMI via the monitor now so can't comment on it. So the issues you're having with the displays could really be related to the GPU. It used to be that I couldn't use my HDMI port on the old laptop without Bumblebee because it was hardwired to the nVidia GPU. Maybe you're on the right track there?
* I have a dual boot Windows solely for the purpose of updating the TB16 firmware. I think I spent an entire Sunday just installing all the updates it was recommending. Their update tool actually never stopped telling me there was more updates but at some point I was certain I had run every installer so it should all be fairly recent.
* For the WD19TB, it explicitly states support for RHEL and Ubuntu. I suggest contacting Dell support because they call out Linux support. If they shoo you away because you're on arch, boot an Ubuntu or RHEL Live CD and see if that works. If it does, I'd check things like kernel version etc. to see if it's an issue with Arch. If it doesn't contact support as they have to support you, esp. if you say that you bought this device precisely because it supports Linux officially.
* Tying the two last points together, you should be able to update the firmware on Linux (this post seems to suggest that). However, you mention you got Windows on there anyway, so maybe you can just update the firmware there?
* On the topic of boltctl: I'm not familiar with the tool but I use GNOME and under "Settings > Privacy > Thunderbolt" I was able to "Authorize" both Cable & Dock. I'm sure the underlying mechanisms and APIs are the same, but just in case, it could help with debugging or show different things.

Finally, and this is taking a totally different route, maybe run Linux in a VM? I actually used to have a dual boot setup, but then created a VBox raw disk that allowed me to boot Linux inside Windows (the same Linux that I could dual boot). It worked quite well and I could basically switch into work mode by booting the VM, ignoring the Windows that was running underneath by going dual-monitor-fullscreen. It was only awkward when you work so long, you forget there is Windows underneath and then you get a BSOD... Regardless, this approach might allow you to bypass the issues entirely while giving you a) the ability to boot Linux directly when mobile and b) allows you to have full monitor, USB etc. support when connected to the dock (where battery drain is not an issue).

Sorry this is all I can offer in terms of suggestions, the whole USB-C/TB support on Linux is a bit of a mess. Happy to help out where I can but I'm really not an expert on this topic, just a fellow user struggling through this situations :-/

Btw, if you have in fact already solved the problem, please share the solution here and mark it as solved smile

Cheers

Last edited by javex (2020-04-09 10:26:16)

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#4 2020-04-09 14:05:15

newsboost
Member
Registered: 2016-07-24
Posts: 51

Re: Dell Docking Station WD19TB+Dell Alienware 15R4 - thunderbolt usb-c?

Hi javex, thanks a lot for posting these comments. You're right that I gave up.

I'm not sure if it would have helped if I contacted Dell, but yes, I could've done it. However it was for my work pc and my manager didn't want me to spend too much time on this. So I tried for around a week and gave the docking station to the it manager who then can/could distribute it to another employee. One problem in relation to contacting Dell is that I think they would have been SLOW and I would've spent a lot of time talking to someone who only understands "Windows". Nowhere did it mention that it was compatible with my Dell Alienware - also not here: https://www.dellemc.com/resources/en-us … _guide.pdf, so I didn't expect Dell was interested in helping.

About the many updates you did on the docking station: I had a colleague, he told me exactly the same. The WD19TB is newer, but I/we checked in Windows and it said there was no updates left, when I booted back into linux (can't remember if we did install any updates in the first place). I also updated to the latest BIOS from December 2019, so it was brand new when trying this docking station. I also tried GNOME: I could see that the dock was "authorized" - but (as I remember it) never the cable... Yet, something must've worked as I could see the loginscreen on one monitor and login (but then I got a black screen). About the whole "bumblebee"-setup: I really had a lot of problems from that and ended up removing/uninstalling all of that. It was confusing, the setup was unintuitive, at least for me. I think maybe part of the problem is that someone must know a lot about wayland or dual GPU setup and that is beyond my basic knowledge. I'm back to using the nvidia driver, even though I know it's more power-hungry than the builtin intel-gpu. I knew beforehand - that my laptop required more power than the docking station could deliver. So in all cases I needed to also plugin the power to the laptop and then we're back to "how much extra value" this docking station actually gave me... Also, because after that, I discovered how to daisy-chain my 2 external monitors using a single displayport cable to one monitor (which is then connected to the other) - it means the hazzle of plugging in/out cables isn't a big a problem now as I originally thought. I now have to plugin maybe 1-2 extra cables, compared to if the docking station worked - but I can live with that...

I'm still wondering how exactly one must setup their Arch Linux system (not a virtual machine, I don't like that - maybe it's a an option for some, but not for me), in order to make it work with this WD19TB docking station... If anyone figures this out, *please* post a link below here (or add the steps for making it work). I think maybe I can still get the docking station, unless the it manager has given it to another employee (not sure - otherwise, maybe I can ask for a new).

So: Thanks for writing, I think it can work under Arch Linux and I would be grateful to know if/how someone makes it works, thanks :-)

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