2 Screens and 1 HDMI port

I’m surprised that after this long into a lockdown, there aren’t many blog posts about how to set up 2 screens with your laptop(which usually has a single HDMI slot these days). Since I recently set it up, I thought of sharing my literature review. Here are some obvious things to try, depending upon your laptop config:

1. 1 VGA + 1 HDMI port

No-brainer: get a VGA cable and a HDMI cable

2. 1 Display port + 1 HDMI port

Get a HDMI -> Displayport cable and a HDMI cable

3. USB port + 1 HDMI port

Get a HDMI -> USB 3.0 cable and a HDMI cable. This is a bit tricky since there are two technologies out there:

  1. DisplayLink : I used this one (Wavlink USB3.0 to HDMI). It worked right off the bat with ubuntu 20.04. If it doesn’t work for you, you can find the asoociated driver on their website. There are a number of other HDMI to USB convertors on the market. One way to verify this is to look at the associated driver name. If it has the word “DisplayLink” as a substring, then you’re good to go.
  2. Fresco Logic: Fresco logic is the outdated one, works only on windows, and doesn’t seem to work on Linux (Ubuntu 20.04) or Mac. There is an outdated github repository for the fresco logic driver (fl2000) which needs to be adapted for newer linux versions.

I chose the DisplayLink option since I have a MSI ubuntu setup and a macbook, and I wanted both laptops to work with the dual screen setup.

4. USB-C ports only

You can use multiple HDMI-> USB-C cables.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. Hope this helps someone.