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What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt™ technology is a transformational high-speed, dual protocol I/O that provides unmatched performance with up to 40Gbps bidirectional transfer speeds. It provides flexibility and simplicity by supporting both data (PCIe, USB3.1) and video (DisplayPort) on a single cable connection that can daisy-chain up to six devices.

In addition, Thunderbolt™ Networking allows for the connection of two or more computers through a Thunderbolt cable.

Thunderbolt Networking uses the existing operating system’s network sharing functionality to connect the systems as an Ethernet connection. It allows the computers to share resources between themselves as well as connect to devices within the connection chain.

More information is available here:

The Thunderbolt Software project

The Thunderbolt Software project aims at providing a complete, open source Thunderbolt support for Linux.

  1. Supporting various designs having Thunderbolt controllers running with firmware 
  2. Building a Linux Thunderbolt Software community 

Getting the code

The Thunderbolt Linux code today is as follows:

  • Starting from Linux kernel v4.13 security levels and NVM firmware upgrade is supported out-of-box (see kernel documentation for more information)
  • Networking over Thunderbolt cable was introduced in v4.15 kernel
  • Bolt ( is used by many distros to handle device authorization.

How to contact us

From our get involved page you can contact us, use our mailing list, access source repositories and bug tracking system to contribute to the project.