Category Archives: Display

Plugable UGA-4KDP

New Adapter from Plugable Technologies Enables 4K Ultra HD Monitors up to 3840×2160 on Nearly Any USB 3.0 Capable Windows 7 and Higher System

Ultra HD 4K monitors with resolutions up to 3840×2160 are starting to move into the mainstream. Many Windows-based tablets and laptops shipped in recent years don’t yet support this new generation of displays, and certainly don’t support connecting more than one of them to a Windows PC.

We’re excited to announce the Plugable UGA-4KDP USB 3.0 Graphics Adapter. It’s the first widely available solution for connecting one or more 4K DisplayPort-based monitors to any Windows 7 or later PC with available USB 3.0 ports. Using one adapter per monitor, you can connect 6 or more huge monitors. The adapter is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, so older machines will work — but for most scenarios USB 3.0 is a must for performance reasons.

The Ultra HD 4K generation of monitors available today support either DisplayPort or HDMI inputs. This adapter outputs DisplayPort signals, enabling connection without any additional adapters. Output to HDMI-only monitors is still possible, but requires an active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter (not included) which supports these higher resolutions.

The DisplayLink DL-5500 chipset at the heart of this adapter is a virtual graphics device. It uses the computer’s own CPU and GPU for rendering pixels, then compresses and sends just the pixels that change over the USB bus. Actual display to the monitor is then refreshed from memory on the device at 60Hz for all modes up to 3840×2160, and 30 Hz at that highest mode.

This is a great solution for web and application use, but is not recommended for 3D gaming or motion video.

Have any questions at all? Comment below or email support@plugable.com – we’d be happy to help! We’re excited to help bring 4K to the PC masses – thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

Plugable USB 3.0 to DisplayPort 4K UHD (Ultra-High-Definition) Video Graphics Adapter for Multiple M... Product Details
$79.00

Plugable Launches the HDMI to VGA Adapter Cable

The new Plugable Passive HDMI to VGA adapter cable is a fantastic new product that does, quite literally, one thing. It allows you to connect your HDMI outputting devices to a VGA input like a monitor or projector.

HDMI-VGA

The HDMI to VGA adapter cable is truly a great advance. As chips have gotten smaller we’ve been able to cram the chipsets found in giant converter boxes and bulky adapters into the nice form factor of a simple cable. The chipset is so small, you might mistake this cable for just another run-of-the-mill cable, but this so much more! With the built-in CH7101 chipset, this adapter will let you breath new life into your old displays.

The HDMI to VGA adapter cable is the time-traveler of video cables, allowing you to bridge your fancy futuristic computer with HDMI outputs to your aged monitors and legacy projectors with VGA inputs.

Plugable Launches Dual Display USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI and Ethernet Adapter for Windows (USB3-3900DHE)

With just a couple of display cables and an Ethernet cable, Plugable’s new USB3-3900DHE lets you turn your Windows tablet or laptop into a traveling productivity powerhouse.

Featuring a minimalist design that maximizes the functionality of the DisplayLink DL-3900 chip, the USB3-3900DHE is a perfect companion for any business traveler with a Windows laptop or tablet. It turns a Windows 8.1 tablet without Ethernet and video ports into a mobile multi-monitor machine. Or combine with a powered USB 3.0 hub to build a customized single-cable USB 3.0 docking solution.

Its dual-video outputs (HDMI plus DVI with a DVI to VGA adapter) and a gigabit Ethernet port are connected back to your Windows PC and powered with a single USB 3.0 cable. The DVI and HDMI outputs are completely independent — able to drive two additional monitors of any resolution up to 2048×1152 with arbitrary positioning and an extended Windows desktop across them both. The USB3-3900HE packs the single-cable docking experience you enjoy at your desk, into a compact package to take on the road and into the conference room.

DisplayLink’s drivers have been updated to take full advantage of Windows 8.1 on this adapter. New features in Windows 8.1 provide users a more traditional Windows experience, while making the most of the Modern UI Metro applications introduced in Windows 8. You can boot straight to the desktop and display your Metro applications on one screen and your desktop on another. You can even mix and match your Metro application configurations.

Improvements to the Windows taskbar and enhanced Start screen options drastically improve the Windows 8.1 experience on multiple-monitor systems. Simply adding your desktop background to the Start screen can go a long way towards alleviating the disjointed experience of Windows 8. The ability to automatically show apps on the Start screen and prioritize desktop apps can provide a much more familiar experience to users who prefer the traditional Windows Start menu.

USB graphics is “virtual” in that it uses the CPU and GPU to do all rendering. So it’s not recommended for 3D gaming or full-length movies (youtube quality is fine), and it requires a PC with 2 cores 2Ghz or better for low-latency use.

Mac users — be warned that OS X support for display over USB is currently very limited, especially for dual-head products like the USB3-3900DHE. The DisplayLink drivers are beta-grade for 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) and alpha-grade for 10.9 (Mavericks). Due to multiple issues and limitations with dual-head displays, OS X 10.9 should be considered to support single-head display only, until DisplayLink and Apple are able to put out point releases on 10.9 in coming months.

If you have any questions at all about the product, feel free to post below or email support@plugable.com. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

Plugable USB 3.0 Dual-Head Graphics and Gigabit Ethernet Adapter with DisplayLink DL-3900 Chipset (H... Product Details
$64.00

Upgrade to OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) Will Likely Break Existing Multi-Monitor Setups that Use Plugable USB Display Adapters and Docking Stations

Testing by Plugable of Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) has exposed changes that will break multi-monitor setups that use Plugable USB display adapters or docking stations for more than one monitor. This includes configurations that are currently working under OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) and 10.7.5 (Lion). The testing was done on the Golden Master prerelease version of OS X 10.9 (13A598).

Plugable USB display adapters and docking stations use DisplayLink chipsets that send video information through USB to connected monitors. Changes in OS X version 10.9 appear to allow this process to work for only a single additional monitor- for a total of 2 displays.  Adding a 3rd display seems to create issues with the display arrangement- specifically, forcing all the displays to operate in “mirror” mode rather than as “extended” displays, and losing the software settings that relate to the physical arrangement of the monitors.  Currently, the only consistent workaround available is to manually reconfigure display arrangement whenever this error is encountered. Connecting only one display at a time may (or may not, behavior varies) help.

Support for DisplayLink-based USB display adapters was also broken in early versions of OS X 10.8, but were largely corrected in later versions. We suspect support will improve in a similar way for later versions of OS X 10.9.

For OS X customers with more than two displays- even if only one is USB attached via a Plugable dock or adapter- we recommend *not* upgrading to OS X 10.9 at this time.  Especially if everything is functioning under the earlier version you are using, the launch version of Mavericks will likely create new issues.

We will test each new revision to OS X 10.9 as it comes out and will update our blog and other information outlets when these issues have been successfully addressed. We appreciate everyone’s patience with this- efforts to resolve this issue are ongoing.  Subscribe to email updates on our blog, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for news as it develops.

Long VGA Cables and EDID

Some projectors and TVs won’t display anything when connected to a computer via the USB 3.0 to VGA graphics adapter, however they do display when connected to a computer via the VGA port or a USB 2.0 VGA adapter. What is going on here?

DisplayLink’s USB 3.0 generation products have a different behavior from the USB 2.0 generation — they disable themselves if nothing is attached. HDMI and DVI have a pin for hot-plug detection, but VGA does not. So the only way to know if a monitor is attached with VGA is if the monitor’s display information (EDID) can be read over the VGA cable. But there are cases where EDID information is lost, like with long (+10ft/3m) VGA cables  – in these cases, the USB 3.0 VGA adapter will assume there’s no display there.

Background

To understand what is happening we need to take a step back and look at the EDID standard. EDID, or Extended Display Identification Data, is information that is stored on most external displays. The EDID information contains a slew of display specific information like refresh rates, preferred timings, native resolutions, color space, audio capabilities, and other manufacturer details.

Normally, when you connect a 1920 x 1080 monitor directly to your computer, the graphics card tries to communicate with the display to read its EDID. If succeeds, it will learn that the monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080 and will output the proper 1920 x 1080 image. However, if EDID is not present, the graphics card will make a naive decision on what resolution to output to the connected monitor. Instead of getting a 1920 x 1080 image on your large monitor, you can end up with a resolution of 640 x 480 on a 1920 x 1080 display. The key point is that even without an EDID, the computer still outputs an image.

But for the USB 3.0 VGA adapter, having no EDID looks the same as having no monitor attached at all. So when can this happen?

Some TVs do not report EDID. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to get these TVs to work as an external monitor using the USB 3.0 to VGA adapter. The only workaround is to either use the USB 2.0 to VGA adapter or a direct VGA port on the computer instead of the USB 3.0 to VGA adapter.

While most projectors do report their EDID information, many projector setups have lengthy VGA cables involved (e.g. ceiling projectors). When using a long VGA cable (+10ft/3m) the signal on the line where EDID is being read can get degraded and will not be visible to the USB 3.0 to VGA adapter. The solution around this is to either connect the VGA cable directly into the computer via a native VGA port, use a shorter VGA cable, or to use the USB 2.0 to VGA adapters that might not set an optimal mode without EDID, but will try a default mode at least.

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.... Product Details
$99.00

Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DV... Product Details
$89.00

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!

USB Graphics Support on Mac Gets A Double Boost

USB is the easiest way to connect one or more extra monitors to a computer, but drivers are required to make it all work.

Two events this week have made attaching multiple monitors to Mac OS X systems better:

  1. On Thursday March 14th, Apple released OS X 10.8.3, which fixed some key bugs in Mac OS X support for multiple displays. Fixes include avoiding potentially show-stopping login screen issues. Some smaller Apple bugs remain, including that drag/drop may get hung at times. A sleep/wake cycle kicks OS X out of that state. Also, as of 10.8.3 OS X doesn’t yet support USB 3.0 audio devices. So USB 3.0 docks and HDMI adapters won’t have any audio function (via USB 3.0; connecting via USB 2.0 will work).
  2. Today, March 22nd, DisplayLink has promoted their V 2.0 driver series out of beta. For the first time, DisplayLink’s driver for Mac OS X now has support for USB 3.0-generation DisplayLink devices, like the Plugable UD-3000 Universal Laptop Docking station, and Plugable USB3-HDMI-DVI Graphics Adapter. The DisplayLink drivers still do not support OpenGL applications on the USB-attached screen, but for normal web and business application use, they’re great for enabling multiple monitors and projectors on a Mac.

We’ve been testing these new releases on our Macs here, and while things aren’t perfect, these are huge steps forward, — we are really excited about the improvements.

DisplayLink’s latest Mac OS X drivers are available here.

If you have any questions, feel free to post here and we’ll be happy to help. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

DisplayLink Releases New Windows Driver Version 7.1 M1

Today DisplayLink released their new Windows Driver Version 7.1 M1 (7.1.45135.0). We’re excited to have this new driver out, as it fixes a number of last issues that let us recommend the latest 7.X drivers over the earlier 5.X and 6.X series drivers, on all versions of Windows. All of Plugable’s current and past USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices with a USB graphics function will work with this new driver.

Download the latest version of DisplayLink driver here.

This release has fixes for these issues which have affected a significant number of our users:

  • DisplayLink driver versions starting with 7.0 could cause Flash to hang up and crash when running Chrome browser. Those problems are reported fixed in 7.1 M1
  • nVidia GPUs with drivers dated Oct, 2012 or later would experience flashing screens and crashes. These problems are reported fixed in 7.1 M1 for some users, but not yet all
  • Windows 8 Metro applications running on USB displays could come up with Window unpainted (Blue or black). Reported fixed in 7.1 M1

A number of significant issues on Windows remain:

  • Windows 8 Metro apps playing protected video content will not play while the DisplayLink driver is installed (will show message in Window to upgrade graphics drivers). This is a difficult issue to solve because Microsoft has tightened DRM policies in Windows 8, and expect it may remain for some time.
  • Some driver conflicts apparently remain between nVidia drivers from October 2012 and later, and DisplayLink. The new 7.1 M1 driver solves some of these issues, but not all. We’ve also seen examples where the very latest nVidia pre-release drivers resolve this issue. We’ll keep tracking this, and appreciate your problem reports and feedback.

In detail, DisplayLink lists these issues fixed in 7.1M1

  • Microphone is shown as ‘Not plugged in’ after replugging DisplayLink device. (14345, 14431, 14463)
  • In some cases uninstallation of DisplayLink Core Software doesn’t uninstall everything properly. (14617)
  • UDP streaming using DisplayLink ethernet device is unreliable. (14678)
  • Sometimes VGA monitor attached to already connected DisplayLink device is not recognized correctly. (14699)
  • Sometimes screens remain blank after DisplayLink monitors are resumed from suspend mode. (14703, 14743, 13669)
  • Some video players showing content only on half of the screen. (14790)
  • On some systems with nVidia GPU Desktop Window Manager is crashing causing Windows to drop to Basic Mode. (14942)
  • Some Metro apps on Windows8 show a blank blue screen. (14955)
  • Sometimes Chrome web browser is responding very slowly and Flash plug-in crashes. (15014)
  • Sometimes DisplayLink monitor shows white noise instead of content when changing mode to clone while playing video. (15030)

We welcome any experiences or questions below. If you have a Plugable product and have any problems at all, just email your Amazon order # to support@plugable.com and we’ll be happy to help. Thanks!

Fedora 18 and DisplayLink USB 2.0 Graphics Adapters

With the recent release of Fedora 18, we have been testing the many changes and improvements to the DisplayLink software stack that have landed for this latest version of the popular open-source distribution. A large amount of work has gone into improving functionality and ease of use with DisplayLink USB Graphics devices. Most of these changes are not Fedora-specific, but are present in all recent versions of the Linux kernel and Xorg display server. Unfortunately, DisplayLink support is still far from perfect under Linux, but it has come a long way in recent months. What follow is an account of what we saw while testing an assortment of our USB Display Adapters and docking stations under Fedora 18.

The system we used for testing is a custom-built PC with the following specifications:
Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge
ASUS P8Z77-V LK Motherboard
8GB DDR3 RAM

Additionally, we performed tests using both the built-in Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics(using Intel’s Open Source driver) and a Nvidia GeForce GT 430(using the Nouveau Open Source graphics driver).

Note: We have yet to perform any testing using the Nvidia proprietary driver, but results for those tests will be posted as soon as they are completed.

There are 2 primary use-cases for USB Graphics on Linux. The most common one is to connect a greater number of Monitors than your computer has ports for, the other use-case is to set-up a Multi-Seat environment in which multiple users each have access to their own, separate desktop session while sharing the same computer. Fedora currently decides automatically if the device that you have connected to your PC should work as a multi-monitor or multi-seat device. What this mean is that our docking stations are automatically assigned to a separate desktop session, and there is no easy way to make them operate in multi-monitor mode(a how-to on switching a docking station to multi-monitor mode will be added to this blog post at a later time). Likewise, our USB Display Adapters will automatically work as multi-monitor devices and manual configuration is required to change this behavior. With these limitations in mind, I have split the rest of this article into 2 categories.

Multi-Monitor (UGA-125, UGA-165, UGA-2K-A, USB2-HDMI, USB-VGA-165)

The Multi-Monitor user experience has improved in many ways from previous versions of Fedora, but there are also a number of bugs that can seriously hurt a user’s enjoyment of this technology. Using the Intel Ivy Bridge graphics, we were able to connect a UGA-165 and a UGA-2K-A to our system and to a DVI display, and the display was instantly recognized in System Settings->Monitors. We were then able to enable said display, and set-up its position in our virtual desktop, and just like that, we had a working secondary display running of USB.

Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ended, there are a number of bugs that still plague this setup. For starters, we were only able to do this on the Intel Ivy Bridge graphics, when we attempted to do the same thing on the Nvidia card running Nouveau, all we saw was corrupted graphics on the USB display along with a severe performance slow down on the main display. Additionally, booting the system with a DisplayLink device connected will result in the primary monitor never reaching the login manager, so the DisplayLink device needs to be connected once you have made it into the desktop session. Finally, if you log out of your desktop session with a DisplayLink device still connected, the login manager will also fail to re-appear on your primary display. On the GUI/Ease of use side of things, we ran into problems with selecting the proper resolution for our display, no matter what display we connected to our USB Display Adapters we only had the option to set it to 800×600 or 1024×768.

As far as performance goes, a non-composite desktop will obviously render the best results. A full gnome-shell session was certainly usable on our setup, but moving windows around was choppy. Switching to fallback mode provided a much smoother experience. Scrolling websites was also very smooth, and video playback is varied. YouTube video played at an acceptable frame-rate, even when going full-screen(at 360p or 480p), but VLC gave some odd issues in which new video frames would stop rendering if we expanded the window past a certain size.

Multi-Seat (UD-160-A, UD-160-M, DC-125)

Multi-seat has not changed much functionality-wise since Fedora 17, however, many bugs have been fixed. We were able to connect a few DC-125s and UD-160s to our Fedora 18 box and login managers spawned on their respective screens with no issues. A major issue we encountered on Fedora 17 has been resolved with these release.  We were able to boot our PC with multiple docking stations connected and they all initialized properly, none of them were sent to that dreaded green screen we sometimes saw before. Unlike the Mutli-Monitor scenario, Multi-seat worked with no issues on both the Intel and Nvidia graphics chipsets.

The performance of gnome-shell still leaves a lot to be desired when running on these USB Graphics chips, but switching to fallback mode fixes these issues. As a stress-test we even ran a Youtube video(at 480p) on each of our thin-clients and the experience was fairly smooth across the board, scaling this is obviously CPU-constrained.

With all of that said, it is pretty clear that there are still quite a few issues surrounding DisplayLink graphics under Linux, mostly in the Multi-Monitor use-case. 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.