Apple Thunderbolt Linux Hot-Plugging Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 1 December 2013 at 08:03 PM EST. 6 Comments
Andreas Noever has published a set of twelve Linux kernel patches that add a driver for the Intel "Cactus Ridge" Thunderbolt controller and ultimately allows for Thunderbolt hot-plugging support on Apple hardware.

Thunderbolt has been a Linux issue for a while now but Andreas is trying to improve the situation. One of the Linux kernel issues has been better supporting Apple hardware where Thunderbolt is very common. Apple's firmware for their hardware doesn't handle hot-plugging as it's supposed to but only initializes devices at boot time and ignores hot-plugging events. This new Cactus Ridge Linux driver allows for supporting hot-plug operations of one-device, no-chaining Thunderbolt devices.

While the Intel Cactus Ridge driver will be a step forward, its still limited in its usefulness due to no support chaining and supports only initializing the first PCI device on a Thunderbolt port, and there's some ACPI issues still to be worked out. These new Linux Thunderbolt patches that might appear in Linux 3.14 can be found on the kernel mailing list.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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