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How to share 1 keyboard/screen between 2 computers?

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ocpaul20's picture
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Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 2008

I have only limited space and need to share a keyboard and screen between a Windows PC and a Linux machine. Does anyone else do this and what hardware do you have to use to do it?

Can anyone recommend some solution that works please (apart from unplugging the keyboard/screen from one machine and plugging it into the other).

I have seen the boxes with 1 input each for kb/screen and 4 leads/sockets out for the 2 computers but am I the only person who bothers with this?

Thanks for any suggestions.

HarryC's picture
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Joined: Nov 17, 2008
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The boxes are fine, you have it within arms reach and with the flick of a switch move from one PC to the other. They aren't always without problems though, I've had signal issues once when I used one.

badr's picture
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Joined: Jun 09, 2005
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basically you're looking for a KVM switch... I highly recommend this one:

http://www.belkin.com/uk/switch2/

eselaypee's picture
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Joined: Aug 27, 2007
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sorry to talk off topic, ocpaul, but does anyone know how to run a laptop through a TV screen?

ocpaul20's picture
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Our old TV has the old red/yellow/white phono plug & sockets from the dvd player, so I guess that is where you could plug it in if you can find some kind of hardware that outputs these from a laptop. Looking at some cctv cameras as I have been walking the markets, I think they use the same red/yellow/white phono plugs dont they?

However, I dont know if the TV screen lines are addressed in the same way as the flat screen is. If not, it might need a card of some sort.

Do you have a place to plug in an external screen on your laptop? If not, then you're bu88ered cos it wont run from the serial port!

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The Belkin one looks good, can you buy it in China? If not then I will have to grab one when I return to the UK later in the year.

ocpaul20's picture
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eselaypee's picture
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ocpaul20 wrote:
Our old TV has the old red/yellow/white phono plug & sockets from the dvd player, so I guess that is where you could plug it in if you can find some kind of hardware that outputs these from a laptop. Looking at some cctv cameras as I have been walking the markets, I think they use the same red/yellow/white phono plugs dont they?

However, I dont know if the TV screen lines are addressed in the same way as the flat screen is. If not, it might need a card of some sort.

Do you have a place to plug in an external screen on your laptop? If not, then you're bu88ered cos it wont run from the serial port!

---------------------
The Belkin one looks good, can you buy it in China? If not then I will have to grab one when I return to the UK later in the year.

i think so, it's like a printer socket but smaller. been a long time since i looked at a desktop computer to remember what these things look like. cheers for the advice.

Magnivore's picture
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Joined: Nov 10, 2006
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u already set it up? the KVM? actually there are multiple solutions, depends on what you are doing on each of the system.

1. Hardware KVM,
Pro: mostly no setting up problems, both PCs vga out work in real speed, no config problems between Linux and Win
Cons: Often no support for USB mouse, and if often create problems, often no DVI support, on some switches games Mouse, Key and VGA seem to lag, still need to sets of speakers if u need sound, control only, no clipboard sharing etc

2. Software KVM
Pro: No extra hardware, main PC is directly connected to VGA Key and Mouse --> no lags and full support
Con: Lin/ Win setup might be difficult, depending on your skill level (Linux wise), depending on network and the software second PC might have some VGA lag

3. Remote Control e.g VNC
Pro: same as 2 + a lot of open source, or free products with cut down features (like copy & paste), on full products you have a sharing clip board etc (--> RealVNC),
in combination with XDMCP, Login support on Linux, means u start at the login screen
You can control and see both PCs at the same time, especially usefull when you have dual screen.
Con: Some stuff wont really come along over a VNC, like watching videos etc (but when u have a working network this is no prob), of course no gaming over VNC, so if u r a gamer, the WIN pc should be the client and the Linux should be the server (to be remote controlled)

So basicly it depends a lot on what you are doing with your machines.

for myself i always control and work with my other desktops over VNC, mostly running Linux, but works on Win too.

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I)

Nikay's picture
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Joined: May 21, 2008
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Why spend money?

Click here http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

Download Synergy, install on all the machines you want to use, choose one to be the host.

You can thank me later.

I have been using this program for years. One keyboard, multiple PC's and screens, Windows, Unix, Linux whatever.

Magnivore's picture
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Joined: Nov 10, 2006
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yup, synergy works great on two screens.

When i wrote above, i was always thinking that you only want to use one monitor. But yeah when you do have both monitors on your desk synergy is a great choice. Used it for long, before i switched to dual screen and remote. Wink