Solutions for multiple external monitors, Librem 13, Librem 5 etc

Hi, I wonder how everyone else solves their multiple external monitors setups for the different Librem hardware - in particual Librem 5 and Librem laptops that don’t have DP Alt-mode via USB-C?

If you have Librem 13vN then you don’t have DP Alt-mode support via USB-C, and need another solution - like a DisplayLink device. This should work well on PureOS, etc. via displaylink-debian script (find it on github). Personally I run GuixSD on my Librem13 on a Sway desktop that runs Wayvnc serving a virtual output to VNC clients, and I forward a DisplayLink compatible device to an Ubuntu virtual machine running in headless mode that connects back to my GuixSD system with TurboVNC. I also have a second external monitor via the HDMI output. The turbovnc+wayvnc setup is very performant. This can be extended with more external monitors per virtual machine as Im not able to get multiple DisplayLink devices to work inside a single virtual machine.

For Librem 5 it appears that alhough it has DP Alt-mode mode via USB-C it only supports 1 external monitor - not 2. And reg. DisplayLink devices support it seems that there is support for Raspbian and Ubuntu Mate but when trying to use displaylink-debian for Librem 5 it fails (read bricks your device and you have to reflash unless you can fix it via SSH-ing to it):

Those solutions could possibly be built on to help provide support for dual monitor setups where DP Alt-mode (MST) is not available.

Anyone who has other creative work-arounds to share?

For the LIbrem 5 external monitor, it begs the question: Is it also a touchscreen?

Nah, neither external monitor I have are touchscreens.

I think I’ve found that the i.MX8 is limited to 2 displays somewhere online but don’t quite take my word for it (phone screen+external hdmi via usb-c), so for the Librem 5 the displaylink devices are what we need to have a multi-monitor setup. I have an hdmi output via usb-c working fine at the moment.

Alternatively, but it doesnt solve the same use cases, if we somehow can run sway, then we could create a virtual output (swaymsg create_output) and serve that output using wayvnc, and we could at least have multiple outputs running on the phone. So I wonder how to get sway working on the Librem 5.

1 Like