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Intel Working On Thunderbolt Security Levels For Linux, Firmware Updates

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  • Intel Working On Thunderbolt Security Levels For Linux, Firmware Updates

    Phoronix: Intel Working On Thunderbolt Security Levels For Linux, Firmware Updates

    Intel is continuing to improve the Thunderbolt support within the Linux kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ecurity-Levels

  • #2
    Given recent development "Intel working on security levels for Linux" sounds like something to be afraid of.

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    • #3
      If you're using Thunderbolt then you're using Intel at the moment. I don't know if AMD or others have any plans to build anything like it.

      So then you're using an Intel CPU with Intel networking, with Intel GPU likely, etc, etc. If you can't trust Intel then why are you using their stuff?

      If you want to be paranoid like that you should have supported the Raptor Engineering $3,500 Power-9 Talos system, which would have had completely open designs and firmwares. But oh well, too late now.

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      • #4
        Given Thunderbolt devices are rare underperforming overpriced mythical beings, it is probably safer to just disable Thunderbolt completely than trusting Intel.

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        • #5
          They're not mythical. The Apple displays with Thunderbolt have very high performance Ethernet and USB on them. The Razer Core external GPU case works really well.

          Intel has 40 Gbps Ethernet which I'm told is essentially Thunderbolt masquerading as Ethernet, although I'm not sure if you can connect one to a Thunderbolt port. It's all ridiculously high speed serial data transmission.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zan Lynx View Post
            They're not mythical.
            Outside Apple devices they are. There is a handful of devices with that port. Even Apple does not use thunderbolt in all their PCs.

            There are like 2 pcie cards supporting thunderbolt (from ASUS and HP) that also connect to specific headers on the mobo (I guess for GPIO connections) and both need you to sacrifice a displayport from a GPU if you want to able to pass through that to a screen.
            And it does not work outside of a list of compatible (intel) boards.

            From what I see, USB 3.1 and future revisions seems to be the way forward for most.
            Last edited by starshipeleven; 05-20-2017, 08:26 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
              Outside Apple devices they are. There is a handful of devices with that port. Even Apple does not use thunderbolt in all their PCs.
              Nice that you just skip over the Razer Core I mentioned, which can accelerate any laptop with Thunderbolt.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by carewolf View Post
                Given Thunderbolt devices are rare underperforming overpriced mythical beings, it is probably safer to just disable Thunderbolt completely than trusting Intel.
                I have couple of tablets with Thunderbolt (Dell 5855 and Dell 9250). And as far I can tell Thunderbolt-based docks (like Dell TB16) is more useful than USB3.1-based docks (like Dell WD15). With Thunderbolt you can connect more displayes with higher resolution and/or refresh rate.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zan Lynx View Post
                  Nice that you just skip over the Razer Core I mentioned, which can accelerate any laptop with Thunderbolt.
                  Because there are similar PCIe boxes since a long while, I don't care of yet another thunderbolt box to add to the list of pricy crap I won't buy because I have nowhere to plug it.
                  http://magma.com/products/thunderbolt-expansion/
                  https://www.akitio.com/expansion/thunder2-pcie-box (these guys also have a thunderbolt 3 version)
                  http://www.onestopsystems.com/desktop-pcie-enclosures
                  And this ancient box from MSI back in 2012 http://www.anandtech.com/show/5352/m...ia-thunderbolt that appears to work only if you reboot into Windows.
                  Those boxes have largely been Apple-only and pretty damn rare even for them as most gamers and people needing a very powerful GPU are not on Apple.

                  I was talking of PCs with thunderbolt. I can't use thunderbolt-pcie expansion boxes without a PC with thunderbolt port.

                  Afaik Thunderbolt is pretty damn rare in laptops (where it matters most), I know only a handful of devices supporting it (Apple excluded, they have another handful). And in either case the CPU sucks balls while the price of the laptop/tablet is very high. If it's more cost-effective to get a powerful desktop and a good midrange laptop, I see no point in jumping through all these hoops.

                  Given current state of affairs, it's much easier to find a laptop with SSD-grade M.2 and use that to connect an external card.
                  M.2 ports used for SSDs are nowadays PCIE 3.0 x4 (plus other unused stuff). You can place a simple passive card that pipes the connection in a pcie base where you can connect the GPU (and PSU for it) http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/PE4C%20V4.1.html

                  The main issue in this case is actually finding someone selling that stuff (only a couple sites from taiwan sell the M.2 version). Most sell far simpler M.2 to PCIE x4 connectors like this http://www.bplustech.com/ExtenderBoard/P4SM2.html
                  Last edited by starshipeleven; 05-21-2017, 07:42 AM.

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                  • #10
                    unapproved post for Zan Lynx above.

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