Connecting my Linux laptop to my TV with a Plugable UGA-2K-A


Can I set up the Plugable UGA-2K-A to connect my Linux laptop to my HDMI TV? Where can I find help on configuring that? Not afraid to get my hands dirty - am afraid to buy something I can’t use for what I want it for!


Hi Paul,

Thanks for posting! Unfortunately, Linux multi-monitor extended desktop setups won’t give you functionality like you’re used to on Windows. Here’s the background:

Multi-adapter multi-monitor isn’t directly supported by X like it is in Windows. You must use Xinerama to span multiple X servers (one for each adapter; and each PCI and USB device is a separate adapter), it’s hard to configure an xorg.conf that works, lots of combinations won’t work at all, and it’s not as friendly to configure monitor position, etc. once it’s running.

All those warnings said, DisplayLink-based USB graphics adapters will be recognized by all recent Linux kernels (2.6.35 and later work well) via the udlfb framebuffer driver in kernel. You’ll have a working framebuffer device that any application or X server can draw to, using the standard framebuffer interfaces. And HDMI to a TV won’t be a problem as long as the TV is compatible with computers in general (which usually comes down to reporting EDID information, which is required by later HDMI specs but many older TVs may not support).

There is both a displaylink specific and fbdev X org driver which can talk to udlfb’s framebuffer device. See the web for configuration examples.

But what you’ll find is it will be easy to run an independent X server, but configuring an extended desktop via Xinerama that spans your laptop GPU and a framebuffer will be problematic. So in the end, it probably won’t meet your expectations for hooking up an HDMI TV to your laptop.

Hope that background helps.

Sorry for the bad news,