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e7440 Latitude / Dell Dock + Dual Monitors + Ubuntu 14.04 [FIXED]

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Kris

Jul 10, 2014 - 12:16pm

  • Since I was pulling my hair out over getting a multi-monitor setup to work properly, I figured I'd [hopefully] save someone else the same grief. This allows both monitors to function properly (extended mode -- NOT mirror mode), without having to split connections (e.g., 1 DVI + 1 HDMI, etc). Although not ideal, splitting the connections across DVI (dock) & HDMI port (laptop) did function in extended mode previously. The following restores dual DVI connections via the ePort dock.

     

    OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    System: Dell Latitude e7440 (Intel HD Graphics 4400)

    Dock: Dell ePort Replicator Plus

    Monitors: x2 Dell U2412M; via x2 DVI connectors (on ePort Plus dock)

     

    NOTE: Just incase there's any 'n00bz' here, I'm going to give easy to follow instructions. Most regular users (everyone here) can bypass the nitty-gritty steps, and tailor it your own way. 

     

    1. Download/Install 'drm-i915-mst-support' kernel branch - Compile a copy of Dave's MST support branch.
      1. wget http://cgit.freedesktop.org/~airlied/linux/snapshot/linux-drm-i915-mst-s...
      2. tar xzvf linux-drm-i915-mst-support.tar.gz
      3. cd linux-drm-i915-mst-support
      4. sudo make-kpkg -j 4 --initrd --append-to-version=mstSupportKernel kernel-image kernel-headers
      5. Answer all the kernel configuration questions. You can probably hit enter for almost, if not all, of them. On my end, the 'i915' module support was added automatically.
      6. Once the build is complete, you should have two DEB packages in the parent directory of "linux-drm-i915-mst-support". Install those two kernel packages.
      7. sudo dpkg -i ../linux*mstSupportKernel*.deb

         
    2. Download/Install xserver-xorg-video-intel_2.99.912
      1. wget http://ppa.launchpad.net/xorg-edgers/ppa/ubuntu/pool/main/x/xserver-xorg...
      2. sudo dpkg -i xserver-xorg-video-intel_2.99.912+git20140710.8587b2ff-0ubuntu0sarvatt~trusty_amd64.deb

    At this point, you should be able to reboot and select "Advanced" from GRUB boot menu. Select and boot the new kernel that was compiled (e.g., 'mstSupportKernel'). You should be good to go now, and configure your displays as normal (System Settings > Display). Be sure to check that display "mirroring" isn't enabled though.

    However, incase you have any issues (screens don't turn on, etc.), read the notes below.

    Important Notes:

    1. I tried many/multiple kernels but didn't have any luck until updating to 2.99.912 userspace as well.
       
    2. On my end, my monitors didn't come up after the reboot. When I opened the laptop's lid (while docked), I noticed an error regarding "CRTC 63" (if I recall correctly). After clicking the OK button, the error disappeared. The monitors turned on momentarily after opening the lid.
       
    3. On subsequent reboots, I've noticed that if my laptop lid is open, I don't get that 'CRTC' error, and the monitors turn on properly.
       
    4. I haven't begun to look into the error message upon (lid-closed) boot yet. I'll post an update once I find a resolution.

    Just for grins, here's what the display setup looks like now. Previously, I only had eDP1 and DP1.

    After this update, I've got eDP1, DP1, DP2 (monitor #1), and DP3 (monitor #2), and DP4.

    xrandr

    Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 3840 x 1200, maximum 32767 x 32767
    eDP1 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
       1920x1080      60.0 +   59.9  
       1680x1050      60.0     59.9  
       1600x1024      60.2  
       1400x1050      60.0  
       1280x1024      60.0  
       1440x900       59.9  
       1280x960       60.0  
       1360x768       59.8     60.0  
       1152x864       60.0  
       1024x768       60.0  
       800x600        60.3     56.2  
       640x480        59.9  
    HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
    DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
    HDMI2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
    DP2 connected primary 1920x1200+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 518mm x 324mm
       1920x1200      60.0*+
       1920x1080      60.0 +
       1600x1200      60.0
       [...]
       800x600        60.3  
       640x480        60.0  
       720x400        70.1  
    DP3 connected 1920x1200+1920+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 518mm x 324mm
       1920x1200      60.0*+
       1920x1080      60.0 +
       1600x1200      60.0
        [...]
       800x600        60.3  
       640x480        60.0  
       720x400        70.1  
    DP4 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
    VIRTUAL1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
     
    xrandr --listproviders
    Providers: number : 1
    Provider 0: id: 0x4b cap: 0x9, Source Output, Sink Offload crtcs: 4 outputs: 8 associated providers: 0 name:Intel
     
     

     

    Jul 10, 2014 - 12:16pm
  • Thank you so much for this writeup, it worked perfectly!

    I have the exact same specs as you, except for I'm using 1 DVI and 1 DP on the dock.

     

    For others in the same situation, here are links to the debs I compiled from http://cgit.freedesktop.org/~airlied/linux/log/?h=drm-i915-mst-support @ commit d58cdb37af9b703b2125df4975d12ab50dd88599:

    http://ul.wenhaug.no/dl/linux-headers-3.15.0-rc8mstsupportkernel+_3.15.0-rc8mstsupportkernel+-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

    http://ul.wenhaug.no/dl/linux-image-3.15.0-rc8mstsupportkernel+_3.15.0-rc8mstsupportkernel+-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

    Please note that for the configuration I used the default for all values, as I had no idea what most were and I was not going to research what each one meant. So if your PC explodes don't blame me.

     

    One thing: When trying to run make-kpkg it didn't let me use upper case characters in the variable --append-to-version, you might want to update that.

     

    Again, thanks a lot!

    Jul 22, 2014 - 06:57am
  • The step 2.a now gives 404, some searching suggested that https://launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ubuntu/ppa/+build/6171526/+f... might be a working url for the same file. Please confirm this.

    Jul 28, 2014 - 03:55am
  • I had dependency issues trying to install xserver-xorg-video-intel_2.99.912 so I found xserver-xorg-video-intel_2.99.914 at http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/package/xorg-edgers/trusty/main/base/xserve... and it worked smoothly..

     

    Thanks :)

    Jul 28, 2014 - 04:29am
  • Sorry it's taken me a while to check-in after initially making the post.

    @andersw -- Glad to hear it helped out on your end as well!

    I was really amazed at how little support I seem to find online with others in the same predicament. Considering this is a somewhat "common" hardware setup, I figured these steps would have been far more widely known. I'm guessing most people just "accept it", and live without proper dock functionality/capabilities. It was driving me bonkers until I found a workable solution. 

    @atluxity -- Good to hear the .914 package (xserver-xorg-video-intel_2.99.914) works too.

    Aug 20, 2014 - 03:03pm
  • I'm obsessed. Why these patches are still not in kernel git?..

    I've dell e7440 with dock station and this is the only solution for triple head to work.

    Aug 27, 2014 - 11:08pm
  • Heard from a colleague that it would work to connect one screen in the dock with dvi or whatever, and then one screen with hdmi-cable into the back of the laptop, not the dock. Not tested.

    Oct 13, 2014 - 05:39am
  • Yeah, I did that very same thing for a while.

    lol... Maybe it was OCD or something, but it soon became annoying, and I couldn't stand it any longer. That's what motivated me to come-up with the solution above. 

    IMO - That's the whole purpose of a dock: simply click it in, or hit the eject button. Messing around with cables (somewhat) defeated the purpose of it.

     

     

    Oct 15, 2014 - 01:06pm
  • Thanks, that works perfectly and with nitrogen one can choose different wallpapers on each screen. However I find that the mouse/touchpad freezes after some time and requires a reboot. Do you experience the same thing ?

    Jan 12, 2015 - 09:28pm
  • i have no issue with mouse/touchpad freezing on a regular basis. I have issues with mouse, but I can not say it is related to this issue and it is not regular or predictable.

    Jan 12, 2015 - 09:53pm
  • Like atluxitv, I have not experienced any mouse freezing issues.

    Oddly enough, I do have sporadic problems with stuck keys when using the laptop's on-board keyboard. It usually occurs when hitting two keys simeltaneously, or pressing keys rapidly. The strange part is this doesn't occur when using an external keyboard (via dock or direct to on-board USB port).

    I really haven't bothered looking into it yet. If it gets annoying enough for me, I'm sure I will. =)

    Jan 13, 2015 - 11:16am
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