Category Archives: UGA-2K-A

2014-03-10-14-Monitors

New DisplayLink Windows Driver Version 7.7 Leaves XP Behind

photo_power_searcherDisplayLink has released their new Windows driver version 7.7 M0. For most users, we’re recommending they stay on DisplayLink’s mature 7.6 M2 driver series for the time being, but this release does improve performance especially for 4K Ultra HD (up to 3840×2160) USB multi-monitor graphics adapters like the Plugable UGA-4KDP.

This release is also the first that is Windows Vista or later only. Windows XP users will need to stay on the Windows 7.6 driver series (or earlier). Windows’ graphics driver architecture was very different in Windows XP, causing DisplayLink’s driver to be “two drivers in one”. Dropping XP support in 7.7 allows DisplayLink to focus on and optimize for newer Windows versions. Note that for systems automatically downloading from Windows Update, the correct version will automatically be downloaded for you.

UGA-3000_In use illustrationWe’ve been testing this release since the betas, and had seen stable results with the betas. With the final 7.7 M0 release, however, we’ve seen problems during install and with missing cursors after install. Because the performance differences are most noticeable in modes above 1920×1080, and the previous driver version 7.6 M2 has proven most stable, we’re only going to point users of our 4K adapters immediately to this new driver. For sub-4K adapters, 7.6 M2 is well proven — and of course is essential for XP.

Detailed Release Notes

DisplayLink Software Release R7.7 M0 warnings: Some users have reported mouse cursor problems and install problems, requiring a revert to 7.6 M2. That release is well proven.

DisplayLink Software Release R7.7 M0 delivers the following improvements:

- Improved full screen video frame rate and image quality on high resolution screens
- Lower mouse cursor latency on desktop applications
- New embedded firmware upgrade mechanism improving first connect user experience. Visible from future releases.
- Early support for Intel Broadwell platform

Fixed issues since R7.6 M2 (7.6.56275.0)

Monitor EDID was incorrectly interpreted, if the monitor id contained an underscore (_). (17606)

Audio output might not switch to default after disconnecting headphones from DisplayLink device in hibernation (S4). (17401)

On some laptops, the video performance can decrease on DisplayLink screens when a proprietary docking station and a DisplayLink docking station are connected at the same time and the user logs on and off. (16915)

Some platforms running Vista x64 can stop responding after installing DisplayLink Ethernet driver. (17384)

DisplayPort++ to DVI adapters can display incorrect available mode list. (17427)

Occasionally a DisplayLink monitor could be blank after resuming from power saving mode. (17554)

Ethernet UDP performance might drop when playing video and audio over a DisplayLink device. (17579)

Intermittent screen corruption visible when a DisplayLink monitor duplicates a touch screen display in Basic mode on Windows 7 (17782)

Wake on LAN sometimes doesn’t work when DisplayLink device is connected at USB 3.0. This is a regression introduced in 7.6 M2. (17865)

Video and/or Ethernet not available after power state changes on some platforms. Ethernet could show a Yellow “!”, with Error Code 43, in device manager (17896, 17047)

If multiple DL-5xxx or DL-3xxx devices are connected, one device can fail USB enumeration resuming from S4 when connected to USB 2.0 on Windows 7. (17835)

Removed compatibility check which prevented installation if a 3rd party USB graphics solution was connected. Now installation will only be blocked if 3rd party USB graphics drivers are found to be installed. (17763)

DisplayLink USB 2.0 Graphics Adapters on Linux – 2014 Edition

IMG_20140306_164523A little over a year ago I wrote a blog post discussing the state of USB Graphics on Linux systems, specifically, Fedora 18. What follows is an update on the situation, looking at both Fedora 20 and Ubuntu 13.10, and examining how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.

The short story

Multi-monitor on Linux, especially with multiple graphics cards and USB graphics adapters, remains problematic. You can find many distros and configurations where it just won’t work. We’d recommend staying away unless you’re an advanced Linux user who is willing to play with different distros, install optional components and do hand configuration. Unfortunately, it’s just not plug and play yet today, as it is on Windows.

The long story

That said, it is possible to get things working in limited scenarios for USB 2.0 generation DisplayLink-based adapters. We used all Plugable products in the tests for this post. Our test systems included Intel, Nvidia, and AMD primary graphics adapters. For Nvidia and AMD, we tested both the open-source and proprietary drivers.

Intel is the most compatible, providing decent results under all configurations.
Nvidia graphics cards, when running the open source nouveau driver, only work in Multi-Seat mode. Attempting multi-monitor setup with a DisplayLink adapter and an Nvidia graphics card results in garbage graphics being displayed on your DisplayLink-attached monitor. The Nvidia proprietary drivers do not work under any scenario.
The AMD open-source drivers work under both multi-seat and multi-monitor setups, but the performance, at least in our tests, is significantly worse than with the Intel drivers.
The AMD proprietary drivers are unavailable in any easy to install package under Fedora 20, but we installed them in Ubuntu, and were unable to get any results, they simply do not work with DisplayLink graphics.

Fedora 20

Fedora has always provided the best support for DisplayLink graphics on Linux. We noticed some regressions on Fedora 19, but these have largely been resolved in Fedora 20. There isn’t much new to report.

You should be able to connect one of our docking stations and create a plug-and-play multi-seat setup, or connect one of our display adapters, and expand your desktop to an extra monitor using the Arandr utility, or something similar.

Ubuntu 13.10

Ubuntu still has several issues with DisplayLink graphics, and they do not work out of the box.

In order to enable DisplayLink adapters to work on Ubuntu, one must download the latest Mainline Kernel build from the Ubuntu Kernel PPA, install it, and then reboot with that kernel. Once this is done, DisplayLink graphics adapters will work in multi-monitor mode. Simply enable them from System Settings like you would enable any extra monitor attached to your PC.

A step-by-step guide to accomplish this will not be provided because switching away from your distro-provided kernel is something only expert users should attempt.

It should be noted that the reason this is necessary is due to the Ubuntu team making some changes to the kernel that they ship with Ubuntu, resulting in broken DisplayLink graphics support. A bug report has been submitted, here.

You can also keep track of the USB Graphics situation under Ubuntu in this blueprint.

Performance

Performance continues to be an issue with DisplayLink on Linux. Using a composited window manger(Gnome 3, Unity, Cinnamon, etc) will result in poor performance across all of your displays. Compositing re-renders far more pixels than non-compositing desktops. When you’re just going through a GPU, you’ll only notice battery loss. But when all those pixels have to get processed by the CPU and sent over USB, it’s a huge hit.

Switching to a lighter-weight window manager or desktop environment (XFCE, LMDE, Mate, etc) results in a quite usable setup, provided your main display adapter is a recent Intel chip.

Unfortunately, due to the discontinuation of Gnome 3′s fallback mode, that is no longer an option for improved performance.

Other Outstanding Bugs

Besides the issues I mentioned above, there’s still a few other problems.

When rebooting your Linux computer, or simply logging out and back in, your USB-attached displays will not always come back without having to disconnect and reconnect them.

Changing the location of your DisplayLink screens in your virtual desktop can sometimes cause strange issues (like only half of the monitor rendering). Toggling the screen on and off inside of your Display management UI usually solves this.

Nvidia’s and AMD’s proprietary drivers are still entirely incompatible with DisplayLink graphics on Linux.

Conclusion

We hope this background helps. We don’t recommend or support USB graphics on Linux yet, because of the problems above — but if you do have questions, please feel free to comment below. We want to get as much information out as possible about what works and doesn’t, so things can improve here. There’s no reason Linux can’t have the same or better multi-monitor support as any other platform in time!

If you are an Open Source Kernel or User-Space developer that would like to help improve this situation, we’d like to point you to our Plugable Open Source Hardware Samples Program where you may sign up to receive free sample hardware to help on your development efforts.

DisplayLink Releases Version 2.1 Driver for Mac OS X

There have been many multi-monitor regressions from OS X 10.8.5 to 10.9, and USB graphics has been significantly impacted.

Part of the confusion is not knowing which new problems are fixable by DisplayLink and which ones will require waiting for the next point releases by Apple.

We have a clearer picture of that now with DisplayLink’s version 2.1 driver final release. A number of things are greatly improved, including a fix for the new performance problems on 10.9 — performance is now back up to 10.8.5 levels.

However, we’re still recommending that anyone on 10.8.5 with a multiple-monitor setup, stay there until Apple has a chance to get out some point releases. In particular, multi-monitor setups of many types are losing configuration, often on sleep. And virtual graphics drivers like DisplayLink aren’t working for 2 or more displays. Both of these problems are new for 10.9.

See the comments on our original 10.9 multi-mon post for different problems reported by customers with DisplayLink and non-DisplayLink hardware. DisplayLink lists the 10.9 issues they’re aware of in the DisplayLink KB article for OS X 10.9.

So, progress .. but for most 3+ monitor users, 10.9 is still not workable. So we can’t recommend any of our Plugable brand products with DisplayLink for Mac, unfortunately. We’ll update as Apple and DisplayLink put out additional point releases.

Feel free to post your experiences in the comments below — it helps everyone to have the behaviors be known. Thanks!

Before You Upgrade To Mac OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”)

Good news: Mac OS X 10.9 is available today and for the first time, it’s a free update, so app and hardware developers will be able to start counting on Mac hardware running the latest software in general (kinda like the iOS world).

Bad News: Mac OS X versions have historically broken some percentage of 3rd party hardware, and OS X 10.9 appears to have a particularly big impact. Many hardware devices will need updated drivers for 10.9, either because the older drivers simply don’t work at all, or because they work but with new problems.

If you can, it may be better to wait for the adventurous to forge ahead and report their findings on 10.9, before taking the upgrade.

DisplayLink Based USB Products

Users with DisplayLink-based USB Docking Stations and Graphics Adapters should avoid updating to 10.9, if at all possible. See here for details.

DisplayLink-based USB devices that work well on 10.8.5 (up to 4 additional USB displays) will be broken for most uses by the 10.9 update. In particular, 2+ USB displays or any HDMI-attached displays (even non-DisplayLink) don’t work reliably because of screen configuration issues.

We don’t know when this is going to be fixed — but evidence is it will require fixes both from Apple and DisplayLink, so that will take a significant amount of time.

If you are able to stay on 10.8.5, or if you only need a single USB attached DVI/VGA monitor on 10.9, use
DisplayLink’s latest 2.1 Beta drivers.

USB Network Adapters


Mac OS X 10.9 (and 10.8.5) includes support for both the AX88772 chipset and the AX88178 chipsets in our USB 2.0 USB Ethernet adapters, and UD-160-A docking station. For these chips, we recommend first uninstalling any ASIX drivers and repairing disk permissions before upgrade to 10.9 (relying on your built-in net connection), and just plugging in to use the Apple drivers after upgrade.


For our USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet adapter, an updated ASIX driver is required. In addition to Mavericks support, compatibility issues with Android File Transfer seem to be resolved. That said, we’re seeing reports of some new problems with 10.9 and would recommend caution. For those who have already updated to 10.9, the compatible driver is available at:
the latest ASIX driver version to get 10.9 compatibility. Note that this driver does not yet have the new 10.9 signature, so you’ll also need to click ok on installing the driver unsigned.

USB Serial Adapter

The latest driver version is required to work with 10.9.

Plugable USB to RS-232 DB9 Serial Adapter

Serial devices will be automatically created (“ls /dev | grep serial”" to see them), however the network control panel in 10.9 now no longer shows serial devices as connected, even when they’re in use.

Other Devices

For all of our other devices, we’re recommending in-box drivers, or they don’t require 3rd party driver installs (hubs, cables, etc).

If you have a question about a product we didn’t mention, please feel free to comment below. We’ll get it added.

And if you hit any 10.9 upgrade problems with Plugable products, we’ll work to help. Just email support@plugable.com anytime.

Thanks!

Multiple Monitor Issues with OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and 10.10 (Yosemite)

Update 10/22/14: With the release of 10.10 (Yosemite), unfortunately there’s not much improved USB graphics behavior to report, as the key issues outlined in this post still exist.

We’ve posted an update regarding USB graphics and other USB device behavior with Yosemite that can be found here.

DisplayLink has recently released an updated beta driver that contains some fixes, though the larger issues outlined in this post and elsewhere are still present. Beta driver v2.3 is compatible with OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.x, and 10.10.

Original Post 10/22/13: OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”) has been released today and is a free update.

But multiple monitor users should hold off – OS X 10.9 appears to break many multiple monitor setups.

At least 4 distinct issues with external displays have been duplicated on the “Golden Master” developer seed OS X 10.9. There are no known workarounds or resolutions available at this time:

  1. HDMI displays cause unexpected mirroring
  2. Display Preferences lost on reboot or hot plug
  3. A significant performance drop from 10.8.5 on USB attached displays
  4. Window server crashes

We have already created a bug report with Apple on the first issue, HDMI displays causing unexpected mirroring. However, Apple has not yet responded to it. In an effort to get more traction on this bug, we’ve created an OpenRadar bug report. We need your help to gather more information. Please leave a comment on the OpenRadar bug report with your system information and any relevant setup details.

HDMI displays cause unexpected mirroring
Apple does not make bug reports submitted to them visible to others, so we are showing that report here. Apple has not yet responded to it. This bug affects DisplayLink-based hardware (like ours), along with other HDMI setups using non-DisplayLink hardware. Because this bug report was based on testing with 10.9 preview releases, the behavior might be better or different in the final OS X 10.8 final release version.

Submitted Apple Bug Report: HDMI displays create mirror issues under 10.9 GM seed

When attaching additional displays beyond a single primary display, HDMI attached displays will override a user’s display preferences (resolution and arrangement of additional displays).

This has been tested and reproduced using both USB to HDMI adapters, Thunderbolt to HDMI adapters, and the HDMI output built-in to a current gen USB 3.0 Mini.

When using a HDMI to DVI adapter (Apple branded or 3rd party), the issue is not reproduced: the error seems to be triggered specifically by HDMI (regardless of whether the HDMI is a built-in port, a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter or cable, or a USB to HDMI adapter.

To be clear, I AM able to use a mix of DVI or VGA attached displays without hitting this issue: the issue only occurs when attempting to add an HDMI display.

After manually disabling mirroring and arranging the displays, they will work normally- however the issue will recur on reboot and typically whenever the HDMI display is re-attached. In the case of the Thunderbolt to HDMI cable or adapter or a USB to HDMI adapter (DisplayLink 2.0 and 3.0 based), a reboot or hotplug event will “break” the non-mirrored display arrangement—although anything other than “deep” sleep does NOT. That is to say display arrangement is retained until the system reboots or enters deep sleep, or on hot-plug events.

Please note that similar issues were seen on earlier 10.9 builds, however these actually got worse on the GM seed pushed 10/7/13.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Use a normally working 10.9 Mavericks system with built-in Thunderbolt and HDMI display outputs.
2. Attach any HDMI display via built-in HDMI port, USB to HDMI display adapter, or Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter/cable.
3. Observe that HDMI display comes up in mirror mode rather than as an extended display.
4. Disable display mirroring, arrange displays to match physical locations.
5. Reboot system: observe that display preferences are lost.

6. Repeat, substituting a DVI or VGA connection to the same HDMI display. Observe that mirror mode issue is not encountered, and that display preferences are retained up on reboot.

Expected Results:
Displays should come up in “extended” mode, regardless of how they are attached.

Actual Results:
In my testing on 3 Mavericks systems, any HDMI display comes up in mirror mode, and causes display preferences to be lost on reboot (and various other conditions previously mentioned).

Version:
OS X 10.9 (13A598)

Submitter:
Jeff Everett (support@plugable.com)

Display Preferences Lost on Reboot or Hotplug
Distinct from the issue where HDMI displays cause unexpected mirror mode configurations, display preferences like monitor arrangement, resolution, and background are almost always lost on reboot and “hotplug” events when USB display adapters are unplugged and then reconnected. This means users may have to re-configure the OS X settings relating to physical arrangement of their multi-display systems on every reboot or every time they have to disconnect/reconnect from their USB display devices.

No or Slow Rendering on USB Attached Displays
An occasional problem when running 2 or more USB attached displays is that the displays won’t update most pixels. Mouse cursor movement is visible, however any updates made by applications onscreen are not visible, leaving the external display unusable.

Window Server Crashes
Although infrequent, the window server can crash. This renders a system unusable as all displays repeatedly go black/blank while the window server restarts.

Investigation is ongoing as to whether these issues are “core” OS issues with 10.9 Mavericks or may be resolved by further updates to DisplayLink’s 2.1 beta driver. At least one issue (with HDMI displays creating unexpected mirroring) appears to be a fundamental OS X issue, as this has been reproduced on a system with no DisplayLink driver installed, using only the HDMI and Thunderbolt ports built into a late 2012 Mac Mini 6,1.

Additional details are available on DisplayLink’s “Known issues with DisplayLink on OS X 10.9 Mavericks” page, as well as in their OS X 2.1 beta driver forum.

Install the Latest DisplayLink Drivers Before Updating to Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 will be coming on the scene in just a few more days, bringing with it a lot of welcome changes and improvements over Windows 8. However, the upgrade to 8.1 will invalidate all but the most recent DisplayLink drivers.

Because of this, we are urging everyone who is using one of our docking stations or USB display adapters (all of which use DisplayLink) to download and install version 7.4 of those drivers from our driver page at this address: http://plugable.com/drivers/displaylink.

We have not been able to get our hands on an exact copy of the upgrade to Windows 8.1 that will be pushed to users on Oct. 17th over the Windows app store. However, the latest news is that any drivers that have not been signed specifically for Windows 8.1 will stop working after the upgrade. Because of this, it is possible that upgrading to Windows 8.1 without installing the version 7.4 drivers beforehand will leave the system in an unstable situation where the old drivers cannot be removed and the new ones cannot be installed. Installing the drivers in advance of the upgrade will prevent this by ensuring the correct drivers are in place before the upgrade. DisplayLink has published details about this on their website here.

DisplayLinkUpgradeIndication

You can check your version of the drivers by opening Programs and Features from the Control Panel. Two driver programs should be listed, DisplayLink Core Software and DisplayLink Graphics. The first two digits of the version numbers in the Version column of the display indicate the current version.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide more information as we receive it.

DisplayLink Apple Mac OS X 2.1 Beta now available

DisplayLink has released a beta of their new version 2.1 drivers (Sept, 2013) for Apple Mac OS X 10.6 – 10.9.

This new 2.1 driver has many improvements over the previous Mac OS X version 2.0 drivers (March, 2013). In short, it’s a must-have install for Mac users on 10.8.5 and earlier. It supports all existing DisplayLink-based USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 adapters and docks, including Plugable’s. And it’s a first step towards 10.9 support.

Here are the details.

Limited support for OS X Mavericks (10.9)

Mavericks requires updated USB graphics drivers. 2.1 is the first version from DisplayLink with support for 10.9. However, it is very rough support, with a long list of limitations, detailed below.

Once Apple and DisplayLink have further updates leading up to the release of 10.9, Apple multi-monitor enthusiasts will have a lot of improvements to look forward to, in terms of improved multi-monitor support. From Apple’s OS X Mavericks page:

There’s no longer a primary or secondary display — now each has its own menu bar, and the Dock is available on whichever screen you’re working on. You can have multiple app windows running on either display. Or run an app full screen on each one. Even show a desktop on one display and a full-screen app on another.

Support for Dual Head Docks

DisplayLink 2.1 supports the latest firmware configuration format for the latest docks and adapters, and adds support for the new Plugable UD-3900 docking station, offering dual HDMI/DVI display outputs as well as ethernet input, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and 4 USB 2.0 ports.

Ethernet bug fixes

The DisplayLink Mac 2.0 driver was the first to offer support for the DL3500 chip’s ethernet functionality. This initial release revealed a few wonky issues with ethernet on our USB 3.0 DisplayLink based product, like the Plugable UD-3000 docking station. Most common was the issue of network disconnections- where the network cable would show being unplugged even when it was actually connected.

DisplayLink 2.1 resolves all known instances of these problems, allowing you to surf in peace.

What limitations and problems remain on Mac?

For technical users on OS X seeking to maximize workspace and productivity, DisplayLink’s 2.1 driver is a big step forward. However, there are still important issues to consider:

  1. Mac OS X will not support USB 3.0 audio until 10.8.5 / 10.9. Until then, audio on a dock or display will not work when connected via USB 3.0. This is an Apple limitation. Fortunately, Apple’s support for this is coming soon.
  2. Mavericks 10.9 breaks existing USB graphics drivers. While this version 2.1 driver has some early support for 10.9, there are still many issues remaining. DisplayLink calls out these issues:
    • Screen corruption and layout issues when adding more than one additional DisplayLink monitor.
    • Some applications using single buffer rendering may flicker on DisplayLink monitor.
    • Scrolling pages in Safari may cause corruption on DisplayLink screen.
    • Playing movie in QuickTime may cause the title bar to flicker.
    • Fast user switching may not work correctly when using DisplayLink monitors.
    • Sometimes rotating one DisplayLink monitor rotates a different display.
    • Sometimes when DisplayLink monitor is set as primary after waking up from sleep it is disconnected and there is no login screen visible.
    • Corruption on the screen may be visible while rotating DisplayLink displays.

    In short, until DisplayLink and Apple have further updates for 10.9, DisplayLink users should avoid the upgrade to 10.9 if possible.

  3. DisplayLink’s OS X 2.1 driver relies on system CPU and not GPU processing, so the video and application-specific notes in our previous blog post, DisplayLink USB Graphics and OS X Limitations, remain relevant.

The bottom line is that DisplayLink 2.1 fixes a number of larger bugs relating to ethernet and dual display outputs under OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” and provides initial support for OS X 10.9 “Mavericks”. This makes our USB 3.0 docking station products a whole lot better on OS X. Just keep in mind that this is still in beta, and it may introduce its own little quirks.

Additional details and the driver .dmg download are here:
DisplayLink 2.1 OS X Beta Forum.

We’re here to help and we welcome your questions. Email support@plugable.com anytime, or just comment below. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDM... Product Details
$109.00

Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1... Product Details
$89.00

ud-160-a_128

DisplayLink Graphics, Ethernet, and Audio Limitations on OS X 10.8.4

Plugable uses DisplayLink chips in all our USB 3.0 universal docking stations and graphics devices. DisplayLink’s chip and drivers can provide an extra display or two, along with audio and networking ports, all via one USB cable. For users seeking an affordable way to expand their Mac, this can both simplify connecting everything and increase the number of devices you are able to use – especially for thin and light Macs and MacBooks with few expansion ports.

Unfortunately, at the moment there are significant limitations, especially for USB 3.0, that will require fixes from both Apple and DisplayLink to solve. We list these limitations and known workarounds below.

Click the categories listed to the right to skip ahead for the status of open issues on OS X 10.8.4, however please note that older OS X versions may have different and unique issues as described below.

OS X Versions

Because of important Apple fixes in 10.8.3 that solve login screen problems and others, applying all available OS X updates prior to installation is recommended. OS X versions 10.8.1 and 10.8.2 are not supported, and must be updated before driver installation.

The latest updates for of 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.7 Lion are also required for installation.

Older OS X versions such as 10.5 Leopard and 10.4 Tiger have a totally different beta-quality driver which is no longer supported: as a result, we do not recommend our USB display adapters for Macs running these OS X versions.

Audio

UPDATE: As of OS X 10.8.5, audio is working well over both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections.

As of 10.8.4, OS X does not support USB 3.0 audio, so connecting via USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0 is the only way to use the audio features on devices like the Plugable UD-3000 docking station or USB3-HDMI-DVI graphics adapter.

This issue is due to Apple not yet having a USB 3.0 audio class driver in OS X. However, we have reason to believe OS X update 10.8.5 may add this support. Resolution of this issue is dependent on future Apple OS X updates, so we cannot estimate a timeframe to resolve this issue.

If audio is important, our UD-160-A Universal Docking Station avoids this issue, since it is USB 2.0 only.

Ethernet

For our USB 3.0 DisplayLink based products with Ethernet, like our Plugable UD-3000 docking station, there are special USB Ethernet issues on OS X. To date, we are aware of two issues:

  1. IPv6 related kernel panics on OS X 10.8.4 (workaround available below).
  2. Network disconnects on OS X 10.8.x (ethernet detected as unplugged even when connected, or no network access when a valid IP is reported).

To date, all cases of IPv6 related kernel panics have been resolved by disabling IPv6 support only for the UD-3000′s ethernet port using the following command at a terminal window:

networksetup -setv6off "Plugable UD-3000"

For the command to complete, an administrative users password must be entered.

If you are experiencing issues where your UD-3000′s ethernet network connection is plugged in, however the connection is listed as cable unplugged in Network Preferences, please submit the output from the DisplayLink support tool, available here:

DisplayLink Support Tool

Video

For basic use scenarios like working with documents, web browsing, managing media libraries, or even streaming video, most users shouldn’t see any issues – however it is important to note some expected limitations of USB graphics devices. On OS X, any displays that aren’t “traditionally” attached via DisplayPort or Thunderbolt, users should be aware that a systems GPU will NOT be available to the USB attached displays. Since USB attached displays are reliant on CPU power alone, any additional load on the system (running additional programs, etc) may reduce video performance.

For a real world example, it is entirely reasonable to expect that a system would have enough CPU power to drive a USB attached display, and to update it quickly enough to reveal no issues when simply streaming video from YouTube or Netflix. If the same system is also running other CPU intensive processes (things like video editing, working with large 3d CAD files, or gaming) the performance on the USB attached display might drop- even when the “traditionally” attached displays are running well thanks to their access to the system’s GPU. This is why we recommend USB graphics only for “productivity” and “light video” usage on secondary (not primary) monitors. For a list of specific known issues and available workarounds, read on.

Some other specific issues arising from this limitation are:

  1. Disabling hardware acceleration in both Firefox and Chrome is sometimes necessary to avoid issues with mouse cursor lag or with items being rendered in odd shapes/sizes onscreen. For instructions on disabling hardware acceleration, go here.
  2. Using a USB attached display as the primary is neither supported or recommended – although users can avoid most issues with this scenario by using Spotlight to launch applications instead of Launchpad.  For further details click here.
  3. “Coherence mode” in Parallels 8 will not work when a DisplayLink adapter is in use, although it does after unplugging the adapter.
  4. Full screen video does not work in Adobe CS6 applications when USB displays are attached. Removing the USB display devices will allow this feature to work.
  5. Safari’s frequently visited sites new tab screen may flicker on USB attached displays.  Using Chrome or Firefox with GPU acceleration disabled is a recommended workaround.
  6. CoverFlow view in finder may flicker on USB attached displays.
  7. HDCP is not supported. While Netflix works in a Chrome browser window- so trying other applications may help in case of HDCP related playback issues- applications like iTunes that require HDCP will fail on USB attached displays..


Disabling Hardware Acceleration in web browsers on OS X
Because USB attached displays cannot benefit from the system GPU hardware for graphics acceleration, disabling these features in web browsers used on USB attached displays will actually improve performance. We’ve seen noticeable differences doing this in both Chrome and Firefox. Safari does not have global options to disable hardware acceleration, so using other browsers on USB attached displays is recommended.

To disable hardware acceleration in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome preferences by using the keyboard combination “Command” (AKA Windows) key + , (comma).  Alternatively, from the menu bar for chrome, select preferences, as pictured here:chrome preferences
  2. Next, scroll to the very bottom of the preferences page.  Find and select “show advanced settings” as shown to the right.  More options will be revealed:chrome advanced settings
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the newly revealed settings, and uncheck the box pictured below to disable hardware acceleration:Chrome HWA
  4. Last but not least, restart chrome to apply the changes (close and re-open the application, or click the pictured option to “restart” Chrome.chrome restart

To disable hardware acceleration in FireFox:

  1. Use the keyboard combination “Command” or “Windows” key and , (comma) to launch FireFox preferences. Alternatively, select preferences from the FireFox menu bar as shown here:firefox preferences
  2. Click the gear icon to access the “Advanced Settings” for Firefox, then make sure the hardware acceleration option is de-selected as shown below:disable HWA firefox


Using an external display as primary on OS X
The only recommended method for using an external display as primary on OS X (using an external monitor for your menu bar, dock, and core OS X features like Launchpad) is to use a display output built in to your Mac or MacBook.  Setting a USB attached display as primary is neither supported nor recommended.

This is because LaunchPad may have substantial delays when used on a USB attached display set as the primary display. For MacBook owners, this means that whatever display you want to use to launch programs in LaunchPad MUST be attached using one of the DisplayPort or Thunderbolt outputs on your Mac for normal operation.  

While it is possible to use several external displays on OS X (as this user photo shows, there are several limits on the USB attached displays that are not present on the “traditionally” attached displays)- keep this in mind when designing your workspace. 


Have questions, or an issue that you don’t see listed here?  Please let us know – email support@plugable.com anytime, and we welcome your comments below. Thanks!

Windows 8.1 Preview – DisplayLink Drivers

Windows 8.1 offers some great improvements, and we’re already seeing users (particularly Surface Pro users) who are trying the preview.

The preview of Windows 8.1 just came out yesterday, and it’s important to note that it appears to break compatibility with some existing drivers. When you upgrade to 8.1, drivers are not migrated from 8.0, rather they appear to be re-enumerated and re-installed.

The most widespread change appears to be some new driver signing requirements which may cause 3rd party drivers to need an update. Also specific to USB graphics is Windows 8.1 introduces a new WDDM 1.3 graphics model, which requires some additional updates.

DisplayLink’s technology, which we use in our docks and adapters, is affected. If you upgrade to 8.1 without a driver upgrade, you’ll lose your extra screens.

Fortunately, DisplayLink appears to be doing a good job of staying ahead of all these changes (they’ve been working with earlier NDA builds, in partnership with Microsoft), and have released their preview driver with support for Windows 8.1 on the same day.

 

DisplayLink’s 7.4 preview driver with Windows 8.1 support is available here.

We installed Windows 8.1 when it came out yesterday, and the new DisplayLink driver, and while I’m sure there’s issues there somewhere, all of our quick tests showed good results in a production environment. If you do find any issues, let us know. Or post on DisplayLink’s forum (the link above) to get the feedback directly to them, or comment here.

So for anyone updating to Windows 8.1, please install the DisplayLink 7.4 Preview driver. You can even do this before the upgrade — the 7.4 preview works also on earlier versions of Windows, and when 8.1 does a re-enumeration it will find the driver if you’ve already converted over. A reboot may be required to get things to settle.

Hope that background helps. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

DisplayLink Releases New Windows Driver Version 7.2 M0

Yesterday DisplayLink released the latest driver v7.2 M0 for Windows. We’ve been testing it here at Plugable and so far the results are very positive. Among other things, we’re excited that it fixes a number of recent compatibility and performance issues found with Windows 8 Metro apps. We recommend downloading this driver version for all USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Plugable display adapters and laptop docking stations, for all versions of Windows.

Download DisplayLink Windows Driver v7.2 M0

Note: The DisplayLink installer will uninstall older DisplayLink drivers, update firmware on the device, and install new drivers. This will result in a few minutes of on/off blank screens and Windows Plug and Play complaining about no driver in the middle of the process. Wait for the install to complete, and reboot to finish it off.

So far we’ve been able to confirm the following key fixes for this driver release:

  • Fixed issues with Metro apps sometimes taking an extra 10-15s to open on any screen when DisplayLink drivers are installed. In our testing we experienced no delays opening Metro apps.
  • Fixed an issue with a recent Chrome update causing the browser to hang when driver v7.1 is installed on the system. 7.2 is now compatible with the latest version of Chrome.
  • Fixed an issue on Win 8 with Metro video playback apps not working when in the presence of DisplayLink driver. We were able to play Netflix and Hulu via the Metro app after upgrading to 7.2 (make sure to reboot after upgrade)
  • 7.2 is now compatible with devices using the newer Intel Atom chipsets with PowerVR graphics (the Clovertrail and Medfield lines). These are typically on low-end Windows 8 tablets. Keep in mind that these PowerVR based devices have a total display size limitation (which includes the native screen) of 4096×4096, so will that’ll typically only be enough for 1 external monitor to be used.

Issues:

  • 7.2 also includes a re-vamped NIC driver and firmware for the UD-3000 docking station. In our testing we’ve hit one specific scenario that causes the dock to disconnect from the host machine – after we perform speedtest.net tests repeatedly, the upload speed eventually reaches 0, and connected displays begin to flash on and off. But we weren’t able to reproduce this problem through normal usage of the dock, even after downloading/uploading large files. We’re waiting to hear back from DisplayLink for further details on this issue.
  • 7.2 M0 does not solve the existing problem where full-screen DirectX 11 games will not run in the presence of DisplayLink drivers (on any screen). Games must be run windowed (if they have that option), or DisplayLink drivers must be uninstalled and re-installed after.

DisplayLink lists the following fixes in the release notes for 7.2:

  • Ethernet connection lost when setting MAC address to ‘not present’.
  • Temporary screen corruption when changing mode from extend to clone.
  • Some web-based video streaming services like Netflix may sometimes not work on DisplayLink screens.
  • Ethernet packets corruption.
  • On Windows XP sometimes DisplayLink monitors may remain in power save mode until replug after resuming computer from sleep.
  • Ethernet packets with incorrect MAC address being sent from DisplayLink dock.
  • Image quality very poor for high fps video.
  • Metro applications on Windows 8 take up to 10 seconds to open.
  • Blue screen when rebooting first time after installation of DisplayLink drivers.
  • USB port stops responding after replugging DisplayLink device.
  • Large frame sent over Ethernet using DisplayLink device trigger network errors.
  • Wake On Lan doesn’t work on Windows 8.
  • Ethernet doesn’t work after computer is resumed from sleep using Wake On Lan.
  • Disabling Wake On Lan with magic packets is not honoured.

We’d appreciate any feedback you have on the 7.2 drivers. If you run into any issues just comment below or e-mail us at support@plugable.com, we’d be glad to help!