[conspire] (forw) Re: VGA-USB Pass thru for Linux

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Aug 1 19:59:11 PDT 2016

----- Forwarded message from S <srebb at yahoo.com> -----

Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2016 02:18:16 +0000 (UTC)
From: S <srebb at yahoo.com>
To: installers at linuxmafia.com
Subject: VGA-USB Pass thru for Linux
Reply-To: S <srebb at yahoo.com>

does anybody know of a pass thru VGA-USB adapter  that works in Linux?  My J5 Create 210 works only with Windows, and they say they have nothing for Linux.  The VGA port broke off my tablet and is a big repair job.  
Steve Rebb.  

----- End forwarded message -----
----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----

Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2016 19:58:38 -0700
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
To: S <srebb at yahoo.com>
Cc: installers at linuxmafia.com
Subject: Re: VGA-USB Pass thru for Linux
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.

Quoting S (srebb at yahoo.com):

> Hi, does anybody know of a pass thru VGA-USB adapter  that works in
> Linux?  My J5 Create 210 works only with Windows, and they say they
> have nothing for Linux.  The VGA port broke off my tablet and is a big
> repair job.  Thanks.  

Steve --

No direct experience, and (speaking for myself), this is the first I've
heard of this category of component.  Web-searching for 

  vga-usb adapter linux

...turns up some interesting hits.


   In general USB to (HDMI,DVI,VGA) devices either work or don't. But
   there are devices that are known to work under Linux, such as this one:
   UltraVideo USB 2.0 to DVI-I or VGA Video Adapter

Link from the item name goes to an apparent mail-order computer outfit
named Accell, where you are offered those for $90.

Article at
purports to survey the situation for that category of part as of two
years ago (but see below).  Quoting:

   You can find many distros and configurations where [USB video] just won’t
   work. We’d recommend staying away unless you’re an advanced Linux user
   who is willing to play with different distros, install optional
   components and do hand configuration. Unfortunately, it’s just not plug
   and play yet today, as it is on Windows. [...]

However, this article is _specifically_ for remote video display over
USB using outboard boxes made by a company called Plugable using chips
by a company called DisplayLink -- whose target market appears to be
places where they want to send video out over USB to multiple monitors,
like in a computing lab, perhaps, dunno.  Anyway, probably too
complicated for the simple use-case you're trying to address.  (FWIW,
it's also addressed here:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/DisplayLink )

But if you find one you can afford, that's another solution.  

This guy has the same J5Create unit you have:
The answer is:  No support for _this_ model.  As you found out.

   The manufacturer of this product openly supports LINUX for other
   devices they sell, but not for this one. 

So, that's another solution:  A J5Create, but not the JUA210 USB Display

If you keep searching the hits from the aforementioned search string and
keep selectively reading the pages it matches, you can find discussion
of other such hardware's alleged Linux support, such as a page where
it's claimed that a bunch of SIIG-brand USB-VGA hardware supports Linux
starting with the 3.0.0 Linux kernel.  Page doesn't elaborate on what's
required to get that going.

And, thinking about that (what's required to get it going), I suddenly
realised there's a probably very severe, not-easily-solved-at-all gotcha 
for your tablet:  Most of the pages I skim-read about getting Linux
going on USB-video hardware assume you can work in Linux and see what
you're doing, e.g., the reason you're seeking to get USB-video going is
to add _additional_ video beyond the first screen.

But of course you cannot see video on Linux, hence have a
chicken-and-egg problem.

I'm going to post your query and my answer to CABAL's mailing list, but
suspect you might, given the circumstances, be out of luck for all
_practical_ purposes.

When I use the latter qualifier, I'm excluding heroic measures like
taking your tablet apart, removing temporarily its hard drive or SSD to
mount it into a different computer with a working video screen,
installing Linux, retrofitting the needed Linux driver support for some
USB-VGA adapter into the Linux installation, then shutting down and
moving the HD or SSD back into your tablet and booting Linux on it.

You _could_ do such a workaround, but by the time you invested that much
effort into the problem, it'd probably be a lot more rational to just
buy a replacement used tablet.

Speaking of which, you might actually want to consider the latter, if
you can afford it, seriously.

----- End forwarded message -----

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