Looking for dual-monitor dock recommendation (display, USB)


I am running Qubes OS v4.1.0 on a Librem 14v1 laptop. I intend to typically use this at my desk with a dual-monitor, USB-A mouse, and USB-A keyboard setup. I would strongly prefer to use a dock so that I don’t need to constantly plug/unplug these 4 items into the laptop each time I want to work away from my desk, so I’m looking for a dock. For the display ports, I suppose HDMI or DisplayPort would do. I anticipate that such a port would connect to the laptop via USB-C, of which I have x2 (as well as x2 USB-A), but no Tunderbolt support.

This is not a request for just any dock that has these 4 ports, but I’m hoping someone can tell me of a dock they’ve used that works well with Qubes OS v4.1.0 (or at least v4.0) and meets these criteria. I would also strongly prefer to not have to install new drivers if possible (in that case, I may prefer to just not use a dock).

I’ve found a Cable Matters dock (https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Multiport-DisplayPort-Ethernet/dp/B0746NKVBN) that may work, but am not sure how well this plays with Qubes or if there is something better. I do acknowledge that this has Thunderbolt support, whereas my laptop does not, but it appears it may work over non-Thunderbolt USB-C unless I’m not understanding or reading this correctly.

Moved to ‘User Support | Hardware Issues’

For anyone interested, the dock I mentioned in the original post works pretty well with Qubes OS without needing to manually install drivers.

The only issue I’ve run into is the system usually crashes during boot-up with the dock plugged in. When this happens, it eventually takes me to a LUKS decryption screen which I’ve never seen before, but freezes here. If anyone has any idea what may cause this or how to fix it, please share.

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I have the same problem with my cheapo dock ($60, some cheapo shit, thunderbold over USB-C tho, i don’t know. could investigate when requested).

Try to do the following:
++ctrl+alt+f1++, upon the luks prompt. Maybe without the alt, i am not sure.

This way you get into the chad tty and can enter your password.

What i observed on my system:

  1. In the grub menu my keyboard (connected to the dock) presses “E” kinda all the time. have to disconnect to processed
  2. Input into the luks prompt wont work
  3. When switching to TTY there are 4ish characters entered that i have to remove to enter my password

This is how i do it, and it works fine (enough), maybe this works for you too.

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Do you know whether Ethernet is working via the dock? Does plugging and unplugging work without reboot (for the displays)?

Does somebody have experience with a Librem 14 + Dell WD19S docks?

Hi @concerned

Interesting post.

Were you able to use two display ports on the dock when connected to the monitors?


I haven’t tried Ethernet, but am guessing it would work. I’m not anywhere near a LAN port, so it would be a pain for me to test this.

Unplugging/replugging does work without reboot for the displays. The only annoying thing here is it always defaults to mirroring to all 3 displays (laptop, x2 external display). You then need to go to [Start Button] > System Tools > Display and configure your displays. Pro tip: Once you set up your displays, you can save them in a configuration in the Advanced tab in the Display settings. This saves me time each time I plug the dock in. I also have a USB mouse and USB keyboard plugged into the dock. When I plug the dock into Librem, I just need to attach them to the appropriate qube.

One other thing I should mention is Qubes OS often crashes on me (~90% of the time) during boot up with the dock plugged in, requiring doing a force-shutdown. The frustrating thing about this is it will work a few times in a row, then crash many times in a row. It could be in my head, but there may be a race condition here because if I boot from the PureBoot menu with a specific timing, it appears as though I can reduce the chance it will crash. If I can’t get it to boot with the dock plugged in, I will just boot without it, then plug it in once I log into the desktop environment.

I have not tried a Dell dock. I went with a Cable Matters dock because it is one of the only ones that claims Linux support, for whatever that’s worth, and it is cheap.

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Yes. I am using two external monitors via DisplayPort from the dock. I didn’t need to install any drivers or do other setup. The only issue I’ve run into is some crashing during boot up with the dock plugged in - see my previous reply to peterle in this post.

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Thank you very much for the detailed report and no worries about Ethernet. I am going to order a dock and can then report back here.

I couldn’t order the Cable matters dock here in Europe. However, I had a old Lenovo hub laying around that works. I think it would be very useful to collect working hubs in a thread. I have created a dedicated thread: Can you maybe add your dock there?

Yes. Ethernet is working over the dock.