1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Apple Thunderbolt Display Presents Problems For Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 6 August 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 2 of 3 - 54 Comments

While waiting for the Apple Thunderbolt Display order to arrive, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Back in May there was word that the Thunderbolt Linux support wasn't all lined up. Recently via Twitter I heard from a Phoronix reader that the Apple Thunderbolt Display works under Linux, but there are a few issues -- including very high CPU usage.

After connecting the Thunderbolt display to the Apple Mac Mini with its Intel Sandy Bridge processor and integrated graphics, along with trying out the USB and Ethernet ports, a development snapshot of Ubuntu 12.10 with the Linux 3.5 kernel was tested to experience the very latest Linux code. To some surprise, when booting Ubuntu Linux on the Apple Mac Mini, the display lit up! Mode-setting via the Intel DRM/KMS driver also happened correctly to 2560 x 1440 without needing any manual configuration options. Beyond that, the Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet over Thunderbolt properly worked, the Pericom USB controller over Thunderbolt properly worked, and the LSI Firewire controller also worked from the display.

At first this looked very successful seeing not only the display lighting up when running Ubuntu 12.10 and the connectivity working, but also when beginning to trying to interact with the system was when realizing there was problems. Trying to interact with the Linux desktop was very sluggish: the mouse cursor was slow to respond, menus were slow, and everything was just very slow. When looking at the CPU usage, as I first learned from Twitter, the CPU was being eaten alive. Idling at the desktop of Ubuntu 12.10 with no extra processes active was now keeping one of the Sandy Bridge CPU cores generally close to 100% busy. When engaging in any task, the CPU load was now much greater than when not using a Thunderbolt display. While it was sluggish to test, the FaceTime HD camera had also functioned correctly.

Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  2. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  3. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  4. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  5. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  6. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
  7. VDPAU Updated To v0.9
  8. An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
  9. LLVM 3.6 Will Be Branched Next Month
  10. Opera Browser Puts Out Linux Updates For The Holidays
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  2. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  3. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  6. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  7. Are there an app using HSA ?
  8. Bench specific mount point