KVM switch problem in Ubuntu using wireless USB keyboard and mouse
I have a problem that seems to be pretty common out there... at least there are a lot of threads discussing this. I was not able to find one that solved it, so I am throwing it out there again to see if anyone can help.
Here is the high-level situation. I am using a Belkin Flip USB KVM switch to switch between two machines; Windows Vista and Ubuntu 8.04. The keyboard and mouse are a Microsoft wireless combo using the MS wireless desktop receiver v3.1.
On a fresh boot, things work fine, at least for a while. I can use the KVM switch to switch between the two machines without problem. If I leave the switch pointing to the Windows machine for an extended period of time and try to switch back to Ubuntu, the mouse and keyboard are dead. The wireless receiver has a couple of status lights on it and they go dark when the switch is made. I can switch back to Vista and everything lights back up and works correctly. The Ubuntu side is dead until I restart the machine.
I have tried unplugging and replugging the USB connector that leads to the KVM switch from the Ubuntu box; no joy. I keep another PS2 mouse plugged into the box so that I can use it to gracefully shut down and restart the box.
I have looked at the message log and it seems to indicate that the OS is discovering the Belkin switch, but mis-identifying the wireless devices. Here is the info from the message log showing a couple of switch-overs prior to failure.
May 18 16:05:43 sun kernel: [ 4834.833111] input: Belkin Corporation Flip CC as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.1/1-1.1:1.0/input/input10
May 18 16:05:43 sun kernel: [ 4834.853453] input,hiddev96,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Device [Belkin Corporation Flip CC] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.1
May 18 16:05:43 sun kernel: [ 4834.946882] usb 1-1.4: new low speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 7
May 18 16:05:44 sun kernel: [ 4834.996931] usb 1-1.4: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
May 18 16:05:44 sun kernel: [ 4835.000350] input: Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1 as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.0/input/input11
May 18 16:05:44 sun kernel: [ 4835.016834] input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.11 Keyboard [Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.4
May 18 16:05:44 sun kernel: [ 4835.026072] input: Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1 as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.1/input/input12
May 18 16:05:44 sun kernel: [ 4835.048254] input,hidraw2: USB HID v1.11 Mouse [Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.4
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.046307] usb 1-1.1: USB disconnect, address 6
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.222039] usb 1-1.1: new low speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 8
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.311507] usb 1-1.1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.313464] input: Belkin Corporation Flip KVM as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.1/1-1.1:1.0/input/input13
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.353832] input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Mouse [Belkin Corporation Flip KVM] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.1
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.356829] input: Belkin Corporation Flip KVM as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.1/1-1.1:1.1/input/input14
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.403909] input,hidraw3: USB HID v1.10 Keyboard [Belkin Corporation Flip KVM] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.1
May 18 16:12:08 sun kernel: [ 5027.405069] usb 1-1.4: USB disconnect, address 7
May 18 16:12:52 sun kernel: [ 5047.151738] usb 1-1.1: USB disconnect, address 8
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.306298] usb 1-1.1: new low speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 9
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.355605] usb 1-1.1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.359524] input: Belkin Corporation Flip CC as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.1/1-1.1:1.0/input/input15
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.379788] input,hiddev96,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Device [Belkin Corporation Flip CC] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.1
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.466710] usb 1-1.4: new low speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 10
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.516207] usb 1-1.4: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.517632] input: Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1 as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.0/input/input16
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.537938] input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.11 Keyboard [Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.4
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.547712] input: Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1 as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-1/1-1.4/1-1.4:1.1/input/input17
May 18 16:12:53 sun kernel: [ 5047.576155] input,hidraw2: USB HID v1.11 Mouse [Microsft Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1] on usb-0000:00:13.5-1.4
May 18 16:13:23 sun kernel: [ 5061.550516] usb 1-1.1: USB disconnect, address 9
May 18 16:13:23 sun kernel: [ 5061.654944] usb 1-1.1: new low speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 11
I am admittedly out of my league here. I was hoping that someone could help me figure out what is going on.
Thanks in advance
It would be really helpful if you would provide a link to mfr's info on this "Belkin Flip USB KVM", as well as the KB, mouse, & receiver; that is, if you expect any serious answer here. Think about it, why should you ask or expect each of (the hopefully many of) us who might help to repeat the labor of 1st Googling for info. on your h/w -- info. you ought to have at your fingertips.
As it is, you leave open a strong temptation to make unhelpful comments badmouthing M$ products.
Along the same line, I don't yet trust Belkin products that are not from their wire/cable pre-PC product lines -- too many of my professional computer service friends report too many flaws in their routers, KVM's, etc.
My main KVM is an IOGear GCS1734 -- 4-port, USB w/ hub, & audio. I am using a micro innovations USB wireless mouse & an old (11 yrs) PC Concepts PC Wave M$ "natural" style KB. So few mobo's don't work -- don't detect the USB KB & mouse through this KVM -- that I consider them to be the defective part.
Anyway, enough ranting, post some h/w links & let's see if we can help you.
Edit: Can we assume that this applies to the Hardy Heron (8.04) installation mentioned in your profile?
Is this a new problem? -- i.e. did this KVM work under a previous ver. of Ubuntu? under any other distro? (try a live CD of MEPIS, or something.)
BTW, until I see evidence to the contrary, I strongly suspect that your KVM is not properly simulating a live KB & mouse to your Ubuntu box when it is displaying XP.
As suggested, here are some URLs for the hardware in question:
Belkin Flip KVM
Microsoft Wireless Keyboard & Mouse
The problem is indeed with Ubuntu 8.04. I had used the Fedora Core 8 release before installing Ubuntu and did not experience the problem; however, I introduced the KVM switch only a short while before switching to Ubuntu so I cannot definitively state that this is unique to Ubuntu. I will see what I can do to test with some other distro's via live CDs.
Thanks for the offer to help and anything else that I can provide to "grease the skids" I am happy to do (hey, beggars can't be choosers, right?).
I think your assumption is correct on the cause of the problem. I am assuming that Ubuntu is periodically checking to see if there is anything on the USB port and finds nothing when it is switched over to the other machine. The only contra to this thinking is that I would have expected that unplugging the USB cord and re-plugging it in when the switch is pointing to the Ubuntu box would cause that machine to re-recognize the USB device... it doesn't.
I have a belkin usb kvm switch as well. It isn't the model you have, but I have a similar problem. I have a dual boot WinXP/Hardy system and a Fedora system (everything from 5 to 9 now). The ONLY system that hangs up is WinXP. Usually happens about once a month. Mouse completely stops working (although keyboard is fine). It is funny as this thing JUST locked up the last time I switched back to Windows and I completed closing all the windows with alt-f4 and then switch back to Fedora while XP rebooted.
I think the real problem is with Belkin.
p.s. My office mate also has the same model I have and she has the same lockup issue (she is switching between XP and 2000, and experiences the problem about 3 times a week).
My windows laptop hangs up sometimes when I unplug, but I thought it was related to my monitor, which I plug in directly to the laptop since it uses D-Sub and my desktop uses HDMI (Belkin "Flip into the trash can" KVM). I posted another thread with problems I'm having with it using a new MSI mobo and the latest 2.6.25-4 kernel (Gentoo distro).
Don't know if it matters, but I am using an MSI motherboard on the Ubuntu box also...
It doesn't really apply to your problem, but I had the same problems on high end Belkin Omniview KVM's. They were relatively expensive KVM's and entirely useless.
Which USB KVM does work?
Ok, it looks like the common thread here (and in all the other threads on this topic) is that the Belkin USB KVM is problematic. Is there anyone that is using a USB KVM that does work reliably?
The Belkin I and my office mate are using are also both Omniviews. I wouldn't say mine is totally useless. Since it is Windows that has an issue with it. All that means is that I have to reboot my Windows box a few times a month. I'd have to do that anyway :).
LMAO yeah most of the issues on ours are windows servers as well. It's a real bummer to not have KVM ability when something goes wrong. Luckily they are being replaced.
As far as recommendations, my brother suggested a Trendnet product calling them "descent" -- not exactly high praise, but he calls Belkin products "overpriced crap."
Ok, so I blamed the problem on Ubuntu and switched back to Fedora... in this case Fedora 9. I did not have the problem for a few days and figured it was something specific to Ubuntu... then, of course, the problem occurred again.
I have always been confused about why the Linux box would not recognize the device if I unplugged and re-plugged the USB cable. It would seem that unless Linux was really confused, then that should clear things up. Doing that never helped... after doing this the last time, on a lark, I unplugged the USB cable from the windows box and shazam! the linux box recognized the mouse and keyboard!
I will have to wait until this happens again to see if it is can be replicated, but here is what I think is happening; the USB device on the windows box is somehow causing the KVM to "hang" and not fully switch and this is causing no USB device to be presented to the Linux box. This is good news in that I might be able to now remedy the problem with a simple unplug and replug (rather than rebooting the Linux box), but bad news in that it is not likely something that will ever be resolved.
I am still curious why rebooting the Linux box also "fixes" the situation. I don't know enough about USB to know if maybe those devices are more aggressive in probing on startup and possibly that grabs the attention of the KVM... maybe someone can shed some greater insight. Next time the problem occurs, I will go first to the windows machine and see if I can replicate the "fix" and let you know.
Thanks to those who have helped out here.
I had similar problems. My setup is with an old PS2 switch using USB dongles. I solved the problem by introducing a powered USB hub between the KVM switch and the machine. This is working OK so far and was far cheaper than getting a new USB based KVM switch. We'll see if it keeps working. Of course, you'ld need one USB hub per machine, which is a pain.
OTOH, every box would have a hub :).
Anything new here?
I know this thread is 4 years old but after a lot of searching it seems to be the one that matches my problem the closest. So excuse the necro-posting, please.
My situation is 4 computers running various operating systems: Ubuntu, Scientific Linux (a Fedora derivative), Debian Squeeze, MacOS X lion, and Windows 7. All except the Mac and one Ubuntu are multiple boot and used for cross platform development and testing.
I have a manual switch box with computers on ports 1-4 and a powered USB hub with mouse, keyboard, scanner, microphone and a USB headset adapter.
There is also an HDMI and DVI switch box but they are not part of of the problem. Together they give me a more flexible KVM switch. I can watch a long running job on Monitor #2 connected to one system while working on another using Monitor #1.
As described in this thread, on boot up everything works fine. I can also switch between systems freely. However if I leave one of the Linux systems disconnected for a long while it doesn't respond when I switch back to it. I have not seen this behavior with Windows or Mac. The Mac is sometimes disconnected for days but Windows usually gets booted back into Linux when I'm done with it.
Now I have tried 2 different USB switch boxes and when it doesn't respond it doesn't respond even if I plug the hub, or the mouse and keyboard directly into the usb ports on the system. I don't believe it has anything to do with the KVM the OP mentioned or my switch boxes.
Judging by the comment of a powered hub per system working, I suspect we're seeing some sort of USB timeout. I suppose I can get another powered hub but I built these machines with 6 or 10 USB 2 and 2 or 4 USB 3 ports so I really don't need them. The powered hub may however convince Linux that there is something plugged into that port and keep it alive.
Does anyone know of a reason for this or even better a fix for it?
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