CF-54, CF-VEB541 Dock, and Displaylink under Linux

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CF-54, CF-VEB541 Dock, and Displaylink under Linux

#1 Post by fredmau »

This is not really a question, per se, I just wish to document my experience with Linux on this setup. Perhaps this will save others some time, or perhaps others can add some input.

CF-54 Mk1 (CF-54C3002CM), CFVEB541 Dock, External 22" ACER HD monitor via VGA cable, external mouse and keyboard via USB. Before starting this, I've been running windows 10 for over 2 years, confirming that there are no problems with the hardware itself. Objective is to compare 4 different Linux Distros: Debian, Ubuntu (based on debian), Oracle Linux (Based on Redhat), Rocky Linux (Also based in RedHat, and the successor to CentOS). So far, I'm at:

With just the CF54 and the CFVEB541 dock, all peripherals via the dock work, EXCEPT video. This requires a displayLink driver. The DisplayLink OEM - Synaptics - has officially published a generic (not necessarily Panasonic-specific) driver for Ubuntu. ... ads/ubuntu. Others have used this to create drivers for other distros. Here's what I've found:

UBUNTU 22.04.03 LTS "Oem": Install Ubuntu. Do all the apt updates. Install the displaylink driver from the Synaptics site. It works. I tested it 9 ways to Sunday. It simply works, not much more to say about it.

DEBIAN 12.04 64-bit: Install Ubuntu. Do all the apt updates. Install the displaylink driver from the Synaptics site. It installs fine, and at first glance appears to work. With the laptop lid open, the external monitor is available as a secondary display. HOWEVER, if I power up the CF-54 with the lid closed, I initially get a log-in screen on the the external monitor, but as soon as I log in the external display goes black and stays black. If I then open the lid, the internal display never comes alive. Seems odd, since the Ubuntu that works is based on Debian, it should've worked.

ORACLE 9.3 (based on RedHat 9.3): Error during install. Scrolls by so fast i haven't captured the exact error. I haven't (yet) dug deeper into this; there's probably a log file somewhere to be examined.

ROCKY 9.3 (also based on RedHat 9.3): Sort of, Almost, works, but is unstable. Works fine as a second monitor with the CF-54's lid open. HOWEVER, if I power up with the lid closed, nothing ever shows up on the external monitor. If I raise the lid on the CF-54 after a time (5 or 10 minutes), internal display says "Panasonic" with a rotating circle below. It will then continue to boot and work fine... as long as i leave the lid open.

CF-54 with Rocky 9.3 and external monitor via CF-VEB541 dock's "DisplayLink"... as long as I leave the lid open:
Formerly: CF-18 Snap-On Tools / Toyota Techstream version, CF-19 Mks 3,4,5, CF-28, CF-29, CF-30, CF-52, CF-T7
Currently Using: CF-C2 w/ CF-VEBC21 Dock, CF-54 with CF-VEB541 Dock, FZ-G1 w/ Havis automotive dock.

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