January 1, 2022
USB-C adapters feedback
Thanks to the boom of USB-C connector, it is now possible to find a number of useful adapters on the market. Some of them even support Thunderbolt 3, allowing us to setup network, displays and power delivery from a single port.
For a few years now, I really liked Dell DA200, DA300 and now DA310, which replaces the previous references. These adapters are often well supported, compared to the "huge" docks like Dell WD15 or WD19TB. DA200 & DA300 are also functional on macOS. Unfortunately, it is currently very hard, to not say impossible, to buy DA310 nowadays, as Dell says me it is temporarily out of stock. Maybe it is related to the COVID-19.
As always, I had to find an alternative and I found it. Let
me introduce Startech
adapter. Usually, Startech products are well supported by Linux,
but I was not sure with this one, as I was unable to find user
feedback. After plugging it to a laptop running Ubuntu 20.04
LTS, it is perfectly recognized by the kernel (
LTS). Here the
dmesg output from my personal
5.15 LTS :
usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 19 using xhci_hcd usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0610, bcdDevice=72.46 usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0 usb 1-2: Product: USB2.1 Hub usb 1-2: Manufacturer: GenesysLogic hub 1-2:1.0: USB hub found hub 1-2:1.0: 5 ports detected usb 2-2: new SuperSpeed Plus Gen 2x1 USB device number 12 using xhci_hcd usb 2-2: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0625, bcdDevice=72.46 usb 2-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0 usb 2-2: Product: USB3.2 Hub usb 2-2: Manufacturer: GenesysLogic hub 2-2:1.0: USB hub found hub 2-2:1.0: 4 ports detected usb 1-2.5: new full-speed USB device number 20 using xhci_hcd usb 1-2.5: not running at top speed; connect to a high speed hub usb 1-2.5: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0f01, bcdDevice= 1.00 usb 1-2.5: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3 usb 1-2.5: Product: Billboard Device usb 1-2.5: Manufacturer: Generic usb 1-2.5: SerialNumber: 0001 usb 2-2.3: new SuperSpeed USB device number 13 using xhci_hcd usb 2-2.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=8153, bcdDevice=31.00 usb 2-2.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=6 usb 2-2.3: Product: USB 10/100/1000 LAN usb 2-2.3: Manufacturer: Realtek usb 2-2.3: SerialNumber: 001000001 usb 2-2.3: reset SuperSpeed USB device number 13 using xhci_hcd r8152 2-2.3:1.0: load rtl8153b-2 v1 10/23/19 successfully r8152 2-2.3:1.0 eth0: v1.12.11 r8152 2-2.3:1.0 enp0s20f0u2u3: renamed from eth0
The USB-A 3.1 ports, the VGA port and the ethernet port were
successfully tested. As we can see, the
firmware is loaded for the network interface. If it proves to be
enough reliable, I'll probably purchase a dozen and replace the
When I have to buy MacBooks for my infrastructure, I also take a Gigabit ethernet adapter so the users can connect on the wired network. We could choose numerous references, but the certified Apple vendor only sell Satechi brand, in addition to official Apple adapters. It is the Satechi ST-TCENS.
Anyway, I was bored because many people reported malfunctions on macOS, even though the hardware is brand new. I usually apply the rule number one, which is "never trust what the user says", but here it was simply not detected on macOS and on Linux. I tought it was indeed defective, despite the blue LED turned on.
The solution came out of the blue when I was finally able
to obtain the following
dmesg output. The adapter
has to be plugged in a specific direction in the USB-C connector,
it won't work on both. I agree, it is strange. Luckily, macOS
detects it now.
usb 2-2: new SuperSpeed USB device number 14 using xhci_hcd usb 2-2: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=8153, bcdDevice=30.00 usb 2-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=6 usb 2-2: Product: USB 10/100/1000 LAN usb 2-2: Manufacturer: Realtek usb 2-2: SerialNumber: 000001 usb 2-2: reset SuperSpeed USB device number 14 using xhci_hcd r8152 2-2:1.0: load rtl8153a-4 v2 02/07/20 successfully r8152 2-2:1.0 eth0: v1.12.11 r8152 2-2:1.0 enp0s20f0u2: renamed from eth0
lsusb output :
Bus 002 Device 014: ID 0bda:8153 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8153 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Simple, right ?