ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC USB-C Portable Monitor

Written by Michael Larabel in Monitors on 28 June 2017. Page 2 of 4. 23 Comments

ASUS advertises the ZenScreen as being supported under both Windows and macOS. Going into this testing, I wasn't sure if the MB16AC would work at all with Linux.

When first plugging the display into a Linux box via USB Type-C, there was no display and immediately was a message about the system not supporting DisplayPort Alt (Alternate) Mode and to install a driver. When looking at the dmesg and lsusb output, the ZenScreen is powered by DisplayLink tech.

DisplayLink's USB 3.0 hardware doesn't have any open-source driver sadly but there is a binary driver. DisplayLink officially supports Ubuntu LTS releases as their Linux targets, but there are community-generated spins of this binary driver for Arch Linux and other platforms.

For this testing I installed the DisplayLink v1.3.54 driver on a few systems running Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS. After doing so and rebooting, the display still didn't light up... when using USB Type-C. But when using the USB 3.0 adapter to plug it into a conventional USB port, it worked right away.

So with the DisplayLink binary Linux driver, it's possible to get the ZenScreen MB16AC working, while the DisplayPort Alternate Mode support is currently lacking.

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