I am building a desktop designed to run Linux (Ubuntu). I want to save money by using the two Apple Thunderbolt Displays I already own. I have not had much success finding a straight forward answer to whether or not I can simply hook up the displays to a Thunderbolt expansion card on the motherboard. Anybody ever seen it work successfully?

  • Could you clarify please if the displays you have are simply Thunderbolt-capable, or are they Apple Thunderbolt Displays? Thanks!
    – smoooosher
    May 28, 2015 at 22:03
  • 1
    My apologies, Apple Thunderbolt Displays. I'll make the edit. May 28, 2015 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is possible.

Source video
Source Article

  • Both of these links appear to be in relation to a Windows operating system. Have you seen anything relating to Linux? Good to know it's possible, though. May 28, 2015 at 23:31
  • @Sean I assume the experience would be the same, it would just be a matter of finding the drivers. Although it is for Windows, it's more of a proof-of-concept that the monitors can work on other OS'es besides Mac. It seems that most people have luck when the displays are connected prior to boot, and that you'll lose some functionality of the OS on the way (suspend/resume) but have gotten it to work in Ubuntu, at least. ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2151355
    – smoooosher
    May 28, 2015 at 23:49

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