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djc 12-13-2005 02:23 PM

KVM switch decision. Will USB or DVI be a problem?
I am about to spend a few hundred bucks on a new KVM switch. I will need to use the KVM with linux machines. This is probably a stupid question but oh well... my linux use to date has been spuradic at best.

1) will I have any issue with a USB KVM? (keyboard/mouse connections)

2) any issue with DVI video connection? (I'm asuming 'no' on that one but what the h, I already sound like a fool :p)

3) I don't want to spend the $ and not have compatibility with linux. The manufacturer states windows/mac support but linux/unix is listed with a '*' and a footnote that additional drivers/support may be required. In fact I see that listed for most (if not all) of the USB KVM switches. I didn't know if this was soley because of the USB or a combo of USB kvm switching. A) is linux usb support not good yet? B) is the issue (if any) due to kvm switching usb keyboard/mouse?

any input on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

WhatsHisName 12-13-2005 06:09 PM

The software that comes with USB KVM switches usually is for loading switch-controlling software on xp systems, not to make the USB switch functional.


My biggest complaint with USB KVM switches is the redetect delay when you switch between systems. You may have to wait 5 sec before you have full keyboard/mouse control after switching.

The positive side of using a USB switch is that you can boot windows without having the USB KVM switch pointing to the win box and later get full mouse/keyboard control. If youíre using a PS2 mouse/keyboard combo and windows doesnít detect them during the boot (i.e., the KVM switch is pointing to a different system), it is likely that they will not work after the boot is complete.

No experience with a DVI KVM switch, so canít help you there, but I wouldnít expect any problems.


Havenít found a USB KVM switch that I can strongly recommend, probably because I prefer the PS2 versions. You usually get a little more for your $$$ with a PS2 switch.

Currently, my personal favorite PS2 switch is the IOGEAR GCS614A for 4 systems (I own 2 of these), which includes attached PS2 cables and stereo speaker connections. US$69.99 @ newegg:

For a more conventional setup, I use the PS2 Linksys ProConnect series switches, which come without cables. You can daisy chain these switches together and form a switch array. LinkSys ProConnect 4 system SVIEW04 (I own 2 of these) US$101.99 @ newegg, but currently has a US$50.00 rebate (US$51.99 after rebate): Warning: Good cables can cost as much as the switch.

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