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TB16 Dock Linux Support

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TB16 Dock Linux Support

  • As there are currently going replacement units around for the upcoming TB16 Dock (I heard it will be for sale during mid Jan.), I wanted to know if anyone can already state something about its performance in combination with latest drivers, firmwares and kernels? Is it finally a useful thing?

  • Additionally I would be interested if Dell would replace the TB 15 by the TB 16 just because of the lack of linux support of the TB 15.

  • I don't have neither TB15 nor TB16, however I would like to purchase it in case it is compatible with Ubuntu 16.04? Is there a topic or website where I could keep track of updates in regards of compatibility?

  • It seems Dell does'nt want us to know if the TB16 is Linux compatible or will ever be compatible.

  • The TB 15 is discussed here:


    The compatibility may also depend on the computer you use, so it's complicated: There are different Bios versions and firmware versions of the USB-C controller.  Just have a look there.

  • So, I have currently a TB16 on my hands and started slowly to do some experimentation.

    For reference I will note that I have a XPS 13 9360 installed with Ubuntu 16.10. Both my laptop bios and the dock's firmware is updated to the newest version. I do not have Windows installed.

    The good:

    • Charging works fine
    • External screen works fine if plugged in before boot.

    The bad:

    • Hot-plugging the screen does not work. Nor after hibernate.
    • Support for mouse and keyboard through USB. If I leave it in, from time to time, it might work, but mostly the system does not recognize it.

    The untested:

    • Multi-monitor. I only have one external screen.
    • Network cable
    • Sound over mini-jack

    Edit: formating.

  • I'm running Ubuntu GNOME 16.10, checked that BIOS is latest, not sure about the firmware on the dock (nor how to update it) and the *only* thing I tested so far was the network jack, which is barely functional (85% packet loss when pinging Google, for instance). It never disconnects according to the OS, but connectivity seems to come and go.

    I will be doing more testing (and likely calling support) on Monday.

  • I've got a TB16 running with a Precision 7510, latest bios, and the windows utility said the firmware on the dock was up to date.

    I'm usung Ubuntu 16.10.  My notes:

    Charging gave lots of ugly warnings about being able to drain faster than charge, but once I dismissed them, it seems to work just fine.

    On first boot... after login, I can hot plug and get my two external monitors to work (DP and mini-DP, not HDMI) both are 4k@60hz.

    On first boot... after login, if I hotplug, both keyboard and mouse work over USB, but I had to tell the bios that I wanted no security on USB.

    On subsequent plugs, I have as much chance for the USB to work as not (though the screens work, forcing me to use the laptop keyboard).

    After suspend, the hot plug rarely works.

    Network port is highly broken for me.

  • I would like to see some results of the support when running a mainline kernel or fedora 25.

    There are so many improvements in the new kernels.

  • I'm using the "TB16" with the "XPS 15 9560".

    I tested DisplayPort and USB on Arch Linux (Linux 4.9) - both work fine!

    See also:



    > It is possible to get video, audio, Ethernet and USB devices working by updating your BIOS to version >=1.2.19 and disabling Thunderbolt security in your bios settings. If you don't disable Thunderbolt security, then only video and power will work (at lest on the Dell TB16 dock).


  • What utility checks the dock's firmware?

  • The only firmware to update is for thunderbolt. In general the (intel) thunderbolt updater do this for all connected devices. But i never tried the updater from Dell.

  • I have a similar experience as dmayle.   I have a TB16 & XPS 9360 with the bios from 1/18/2017.   I have 3 x 1920x1200 LCD screens attached to the dock.   Running Ubuntu 16.04 updated to kernel 4.10.4 ( same install image as shipped on my machine from the factory ), I can hot dock and everything works on the dock ( Keyboard, Mouse, Audio, Screens ) except the Realtek GB ethernet in the dock.   The ethernet is detected and configured, but data is corrupted as it is transfered through the interface.   If I turn off the wired adapter and use wireless, then everything works.

    I did have to turn off Thunderbolt security, and enabling the boot options for Thunderbolt seems to have helped if connected during boot.

    I have some kernel traces that would be useful to a developer wishing to fix the r8152 driver used by the GB ethernet on the TB16 dock.   I get both xhci_hcd errors as well as a kernel error "transmit queue 0 timed out".  

    I'd be interested in working with the sputnik team if possible to debug the issue and get a fix to the r8152 developer ( or even use a more appropriate kernel module if it is being detected incorrectly ).

  • I know that this threat is for XPS 13, but new XPS 15 9360 is very similar, and:

    With Debian Stretch out-of-the-box (Gnome 3) this is the behavour of thunderbolt dock TB16:

    - External monitor with HDMI is working perfectly.

    - Audio is working perfectly.

    - Networking is not working. Ethernet device is detected. First DHCP try gets IP address and networking config, but after first network packets the connection hangs. Not working

    - External hard drive connected to USB is working perfectly.

    So just the network interface is not working correctly (out of the box).

    IMPORTANT: you have to boot with the dock connected. Linux kernel needs to detect while booting: hot connect does not work.

  • TB16 works quite OK for me on Linux.

    Note that the network adapter will crash if you run it in 1gbps mode; instead switch it to 100mbps.

    See also: