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-   -   KVM switch decision. Will USB or DVI be a problem? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/kvm-switch-decision-will-usb-or-dvi-be-a-problem-392408/)

djc 12-13-2005 01:23 PM

KVM switch decision. Will USB or DVI be a problem?
 
hello,
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 05:09 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: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817107419

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): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817107748 Warning: Good cables can cost as much as the switch.


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