USB-C Dock Reccomendations

Does anyone have USB-C dock recommends?

I have a Thinkpad P1 gen 4 running Fedora I’m going to be using as my desktop replacement, and I’m looking for a Linux friendly dock.

I don’t need the dock to do much. Ideally, it could drive 2x 4K DisplayPort displays, have a 2.5Gb+ Ethernet port, and a couple USB-A ports, but 2x 2K DisplayPort and 1GbE work too.

Preferred price is <$150.

candle_lighter, avatar

The official Thinkpad dock is what we use at work


Which model? There are several different models on the website.

candle_lighter, avatar

This is the one we use but I’m not sure if it is compatible with your machine. This one is probably is compatible tho. Neither of them say that they support Linux but the one we use works fine on Fedora. Can’t confidentially say that the second one I sent works for Linux but it might


From my quick search you aren’t getting everything from under $150.

I got a USB C dock from Amazon under the name LASUNEY, but it’s not for sale any more. I’ve seen equivalent under a 15 in 1 naming that seems to exactly the same, just under a different name LIONWEI that’s around the $100 mark, 2 DP 1Gbps and many usb ports.

I believe resolution is determined by your machine’s chipset not the dock, but I could be mistaken.

Now I also found one that has 2.5Gbps networking but that’s $270 under the Plugable brand. Not a fan of the specs of that one since the power comes from a barrel Jack instead of usb c.


The Anker 575 can drive dual 4K monitors at 60 Hz and is supported by Linux, although I’ve best luck driving one monitor with a dedicated laptop USB C port. It currently retails above $200 though.


There are official thinkpad usb c hubs on eBay for like £30 that seem to work better than most on my Linux p50, dual display ports, PD (though sadly pd is not supported on the p50)


I have a dongle I bought from Walmart that works well. It is Onn brand.

Most usb-c devices should just work


Tb3 is supported on that, go with it, found one for 129 or so on Amazon. Tb3 is dramatically better than usb-c in every way, mostly because usb-c means different things to different vendors while tb3 is a genuine standard.

Edit: shit you got tb4, if you get a tb4 caldigit you’re set for life but they’re expensive af, love mine. They’re a single cable solution for everything, 2x 4k easily, think I’m at 4k+5k and it’s fine.


Awesome, thanks! The Caldigit is my holy grail dock. 🙂

I wasn’t finding much info about TB and Linux, so I was reluctant to drop that much cash for something that may not work.


Tb support on linux is arguably better than usb support.

Google boltctl to authorize the dock and you’re golden, stuff just works for me, though honestly I didn’t use my pcie dock on linux.


Good to know. 🙂

A dock with external PCIe might be interesting, but I don’t have any plans the require that right now. 😆


You can say a lot of shit about intel, but sometimes they do hardware support in linux very well.


This should work…/usb-c-universal-dv4k-docking-stat…

Works With Windows, Mac, Android, Chrome, Linux Ubuntu


Ooo… MAC cloning. That’s a good one for the TB list. 🙂

skullgiver, (edited ) avatar

Whatever you do, avoid DisplayLink docks on Linux. DisplayLink requires a special driver that renders the screen on the CPU to compress it down to USB video and that requires installing a slightly outdated version of evdi plus it incurs a CPU hit. They’re good docks for IO-gimped devices like Macbooks, but DisplayPort is the way to go for any decent laptop, especially on Linux.


Definitely. Display link docks are a no go. The video out was pretty crappy last time I used one in 2014.


DisplayLink compresses everything over usb. If you plan to do anything color sensitive (ie photo editing) or latency sensitivite (ie: games) it’s a bad idea sine it’s all cpu compression.

That said. They are great for multi monitor general usage (ie soreadhseets and shit) or for systems with graphic card limitations on multi display output (ie low end macs on m1/m2)

TableCoffee, avatar

They work in a pinch but even on windows they always end up causing more trouble than it’s worth. I recently got a client business, a lawyer’s office, where their previous IT got them all Startech displaylink docks. After I replaced a couple of them where the users had some lower end i3 laptops, searches they ran in their document management system finished in maybe 50% of the time.

Good processors like the M1 you maybe can’t notice but they cripple the lower end systems.


There are quality docks that work on displaylink. The dell D6000 is one example and we issue them out freely at work.

Most third party off brand docks will have higher failure rates. We see that with some anker docks that were usb-c+pd we use/had to source during the great supply chain snafu during covid. They worked in a pinch but aren’t reliable like a Lenovo or Dell dock. That’s less a displaylink thing and more a cheap dock thing.


I use a caldigit. Its not cheap but its worked flawless.


Awesome, thanks!

quou, avatar

Pick up a used Thunderbolt >=3 one from EBay if your laptop supports it. I have a ThinkPad Universal Thunderbolt 4 dock that I bought used for ~$100 and it has served me very well so far.


😎 I’ve looked at those, but I wasn’t sure how well TB docks are supported by Linux. I may do some eBay hunting.


TB docks are very well supported. Depending on the DE you use, you’ll need to “authorize”/allow the dock for it to get used.


DE is fairly stock Gnome. Cool, I’ve seen that in the settings. 🙂

thejevans, avatar

There are a couple of things that will get in your way with this.


Let’s go with the bare minimum of your high end given what you want:

  • running both of your displays at 4k 30Hz 8bit only will require 6.66Gbps per display
  • 2.5Gbps networking is self explanatory
  • assuming you only want USB 2.0 ports, 480Mbps per port

without overhead, that’s ~17Gbps. USB 3.2 Gen 2 can do 10Gbps, and USB 4 can do 20-40Gbps, so it would need to be a USB 4 dock at minimum, which means new and most likely above your budget. Your low end could probably be done on USB3.2 Gen 2, but you’re still going to come close to your budget or blow it.

Multiple displays

Running multiple displays from a single usb-c port is not great. you can do it with thunderbolt docks just fine, but they are all going to blow your budget. With usb-c your options are a single display per port on your machine with displayport-over-usb-c implemented, or multiple displays using multi-stream transport (MST). MST is known to be extremely finicky and generally not worth the hassle in my opinion.


If you need multiple displays (on top of the HDMI 2.1 port on your machine), either dedicate both usb-c ports to it and use two cheaper docks, or go all in and get a thunderbolt dock like the Caldigit TS4.


Thanks for the info! 🙂

I may jump to the Caldigit TB dock based on reccs in the comments.

$150 is the most I’m willing to spend on a USB dock. 😆 Above that, I might as well jump to a TB dock.

This was more of a cheap stop gap solution to my many cables getting plugged into the laptop problem.

cygnus, avatar

I’ve been using a Plugable UD-CA1 for many years (Windows and Linux) and it works fine. Currently using it with an X1 Carbon G9. As it’s quite old I don’t know if it’s still available but if not, I’m sure they have a newer version.The price was sub-100 if I recall.


It looks like it’s still on sale. $119 now, but close enough to $100. 🙂


A very recent review (translated from Dutch): ……/20-usb-c-dockingstations-de-bes…


The link isn’t working anymore. 😕

melroy avatar

it's working here..? Otherwise try to copy and paste this link into a translator of your choice:


That’s better. 🙂

I’d forgotten about the OWC Go dock.

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