desktop setups?

Has anyone setup a dock solution with their frame yet??? Can we use Thunderbolt hubs? (Or other devices?) -I’ve seen some external GPUs working, and…

I’m wondering if we can discuss multi-monitor desktop setups using our Laptops at the heart…

If you are running a solution, please post details and/or pics. Ultimately, it would be awesome if my frame could have a desktop setup that all plugged in with one cord - those thunderbolt hubs sure have options that, if frame supports them, would allow for just that.

Let’s discuss!

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FWIW, there’s a thunderbolt docks megathread with some tested docks in a wiki post:

It ain’t pretty but here you go.

It uses this low-cost hub:

Just a generic Chinese OEM design similar to dozens of others.

It almost works perfectly for me. Charging via PD, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, the card reader. I have my 27" desktop monitor plugged into this as well as a 2.5 GbE USB adapter running over USB 3.0. All this works perfectly. There’s even a headphone output which I haven’t tested but which the Framework switched to using, so it probably works.

What doesn’t work is the second video output. You can see the unplugged VGA cable there. It does work, but not simultaneously with the HDMI output. It’s one or the other. I believe this is a Linux limitation and I hope there’s progress towards this in the future, because there’s a second HDMI output in the dock that I’d like to use with a monitor that will replace the old 24" sitting dark behind it.

I presume you’ve seen this thread?

This is probably the cheapest dock mentioned in that thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

There are a series of similar docks with only one HDMI output for about $30-$40 less, maybe I should have gone with one of those. But I remain hopeful that one day Linux will be able to handle this, or I’m able to resolve the issue.


I have several employees with non-framework laptops using this usb-c dock:

So far it has worked excellent as a USB hub and dual HDMI output, though their laptops do not support power delivery over usb-c. I have a new employee that will be receiving a framework laptop soon (as soon as it ships) and have purchased another of these docks for him to use with it. I see no reason why it shouldn’t work just as well as with our other windows laptops.

Both our other laptops are able to run dual monitors over the dock, and both of our employees have an external keyboard and mouse plugged in to the dock. When they come in to the office, all they have to do is plug in the laptop and close the lid, and its basically indistinguishable from running a desktop.

@KroniK two questions:
Are you describing Windows laptops?
Can the notebook stay open for a third screen in addition to the two HDMI monitors?

Looking forward to hearing about the dock’s performance with the


Thanks for the replies; I didn’t know of the Thunderbolt Megathread, so I’ll check in there as it’ll probably bring me up to speed. I don’t OFTEN dock, but I’d like a solution… hoping for one cord in and a desktop experience.

We’ll see if I can get there. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Using a USB-C hub I got on Amazon almost four years ago.



That’s why I didn’t want to spend too much. But I had the monitors there with free inputs and I’d like to wire it into the network, so…?

Thunderbolt/USB4/USB-C makes it so much more convenient than with older technology. Charging and all this data, all over one wire. Since you need to charge it with that same wire, why not?

It’s small, relatively unobtrusive, and cheap compared to the other docks in the megathread.

I use my Framework “docked” the majority of the time. I bought it to replace a computer I built in 2015. I keep it closed in a vertical stand.

I have tried both a USB-C hub and a ThunderBolt 4 hub. Currently using the ThunderBolt 4 hub.

USB-C hubs seems to work just fine both in Windows and Linux. The ThunderBolt 4 hub is now working perfectly in Windows (had issues originally), however I do still have a bunch of issues with it in Linux.

Here is my original thread voicing my issues:

I’ve got a Pine64 dock ready for when it finally is available in Europe, from my last laptop that crapped out within a year so currently only desktop/phone browsing…

I have the Wavlink WL-UG69PD2, driving 2 x QHD displays + keyboard, mouse, speakers, headset.

It works, but it’s not ideal with Linux. It uses USB-C, but not Thunderbolt, and the displays are driven by DisplayLink. There’s an Ubuntu driver and it’s mostly ok for me on PoP OS except it drops to 1 fps when the built-in display is disabled (lid closed). I have to have the laptop open on my desk. The same dock works out of the box, lid open or closed, with my work laptop (Windows).

I also tried the Pin64 dock. Just know your resolution will be limited.

They are windows laptops. HP Envy’s and they can run both screens and the laptop screen for 3 total screens if desired. They have had no issue with it.

I just received my framework laptop today, but don’t have another dock to test it with right now. Once I get the dock in, I’ll provide some updates.

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My job gave me an XPS 13 and this Startech dock -

Works perfectly with my Framework laptop plugged in.


After installing the latest displaylink drivers from Synaptics, the Visiontek VT4500 dock seems to be working flawlessly with the framework laptop. The power delivery is keeping the battery charged, and I can even disable the laptop display and close the lid to allow it to sit closed on the desk with a single cable attached. It also works fine with the screen open and on, and it can drive all 3 screens quite competently. Granted my external monitors are 1080p, so I’m not sure if that performance would carry over to 1440 or 4k screens.

I have found that there seems to be a problem with closing the lid when using Linux Mint. If you make the laptop screen inactive, then the whole system slows to a crawl and there are massive delays between clicking boxes and the screens updating. strangely the mouse is not sluggish, just the responsiveness of the windows. Maybe its a problem with cinnamon? I’ll be posting a topic about it elsewhere.

UPDATE: The closing lid issue is a known issue with the DisplayLink drivers. It looks like the issue might be fixed in some very recent builds of ubuntu, but is not generally available. I am going to be testing some listed workarounds but have not been able to complete much testing yet.

One other issue I’m encountering is that the laptop does not like to reboot with the dock plugged in. Still working out what is going on but it may be the grub bootloader for linux, and may not be an issue on windows.

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I think this have to do with how older displayport handles dual display over USB-C. My Dell DA 300 (without power passthrough) have 3 ports (VGA, HDMI, DP) but it specifically says that it only support one display at a time.

Unless it uses Thunderbolt (which will be $200 Dell Docks), I dont think anything support dual displays.

Very apparent is the price tag, but also the sheer size and the amount of stuff inside

A non-Dell version with similar capabilities ($40 less) can be found here. However, this dock seem to be a USB hub (instead of thunderbolt), which might indicate extremely low fps or some other tradeoff, including no power pass through.

If you want Thunderbolt pass through (daisy chain), add $100.


This has actually turned into a pretty big issue for me and is preventing both shutdown and start up with the dock plugged into the laptop. I have disabled the linux grub bootloader and am only running windows at this point, and am still having issues with booting the laptop with the dock plugged in.

It is preventing the laptop from posting at boot up and sometimes ramping the fans up and preventing the computer from shutting down when the dock is plugged in. You can see my separate thread on this issue here: USB-C DisplayLink Dock Prevents Shutdown and Post

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It might due to how Framework BIOS does not handle Thunderbolt docks very cleanly.
As some of those Thunderbolt docks have a power button, as well as some other functions (that work even when you shutdown your laptop) I assume there are specific handlings, which might be missing from the otherwise pretty ordinary bios.
It’s also evident since Dell include some Thunderbolt security options that will interfere with the dock functionality (that they warn you when you try to toggle it to a invalid state)

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The framework laptop - while it does have framework specs and usually works with thunderbolt - isn’t thunderbolt certified. Could that be related? Do devices (like the docks) look for TB certification?

I think certification is the process that allows you to put the fancy sticker on the devices claiming it is Thunderbolt capable. You can run anything uncertified, it’s just that I have rarely see a uncertified Thunderbolt host, however.

They won’t go online and check whether this device’s ID is listed under “certified devices”. They just try to communicate with their … TB dock protocol.
And you know this protocol is special when other BIOS page literally list the setting on a separate page.

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