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Running Nine USB-Based Displays On Linux

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  • Running Nine USB-Based Displays On Linux

    Phoronix: Running Nine USB-Based Displays On Linux

    Last May we were briefed that DisplayLink would provide open-source driver support on Linux. DisplayLink is a company that makes graphics processors capable of powering high resolution displays that work over a USB connection...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzkyOQ

  • #2
    So with one driver we will have support of every usb card of this company?

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    • #3
      USB simply doesn't have enough bandwidth to operate a monitor of any useful resolution.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by thefirstm View Post
        USB simply doesn't have enough bandwidth to operate a monitor of any useful resolution.
        It may not be enough for general video playback, but it might be useful for relatively static stuff. For example, consider the arrival/departure displays at an airport - they need a bunch of screens to display the information, but the contents don't need to change very often.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by thefirstm View Post
          USB simply doesn't have enough bandwidth to operate a monitor of any useful resolution.
          My wife used one of these (on Windows) for a couple of years, running 1680x1050. I never heard a complaint from her. No gaming, but web videos displayed just fine. If I remember correctly, they compress the data stream.

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          • #6
            USB3 will probably change this, it has a lot larger bandwidth.

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            • #7
              that is pretty awesome!

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              • #8
                I can see an application for this in running projectors for presentations. Can do away with the VGA plug on netbooks for example, add in a few more (and more useful) USB plugs.

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                • #9
                  Are these "graphics cards" capable of running a modern compositing desktop with effects (like KDE 4 or sth.) only using fully opensourced drivers?

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                  • #10
                    THEIR? For crying out loud, Michael, please read the articles before posting them...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nogotheg View Post
                      Are these "graphics cards" capable of running a modern compositing desktop with effects (like KDE 4 or sth.) only using fully opensourced drivers?
                      I doubt it. USB provides only 500ma of current, which is not enough to drive even the most minimal of 3D-accelerating GPUs.

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                      • #12
                        All you guys have to do is read the documentation.

                        These are not 'video cards on USB'. Think of them more like a USB-to-VGA adapter.

                        What they are is a way to compress video from your video framebuffer over USB and have it display on a VGA capable display. The USB device is little more then a FPGA chip designed to decompress the video stream.

                        There is no graphics processing or anything like that going on in those USB devices other then the decompression of the stream.

                        If there is any video acceleration going on at all then it's happening with your onboard GPU. I believe they have support for accelerating the display using Intel IGP, but I don't know for certain since I don't own one. As far as AMD or Nvidia support, I have not the fuzziest clue.

                        That is why these things are so cheap and are so effective. There have been 'USB Video Cards' in the past and some chips did work in Linux, but the approach that the displaylink uses is much better performance-wise and can drive much larger displays.

                        The video included in the article is a testament to that.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drag View Post
                          If there is any video acceleration going on at all then it's happening with your onboard GPU.
                          Thanks for pointing that out! (Bad for me in this case since I'm having a poulsbo-gpu... *sigh*)

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