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irgunII 02-18-2013 08:43 PM

Two separate computers and OS's, one monitor and...
What I need to find out, is is there a way I can use the one keyboard and mouse and monitor for both computers without having to swap cables whenever I want to use the other system?

I'd like to use this other system which will have W98SE on it as a gaming system for a few old games I have. I also would like to have it crunching numbers for my seti@home/BOINC account so that I have two systems going at it instead of just the one and it be able to send results through my system to the internet.

Will this all be able to be done with just an ethernet cable and networking or am I biting off more than I realize (and hopefully I made sense of what I want to do).

TobiSGD 02-18-2013 09:00 PM

I wonder why you don't post this in the hardware forum, since this is a hardware question, not a Slackware question, but anyways:
For sharing keyboard, video and mouse between computers you need a KVM switch, for sharing the Internet connection usually a simple Ethernet switch will work, but it depends on how you connect to the net.

irgunII 02-18-2013 09:12 PM

Thanks, Tobi. And the reason I didn't ask there was that I didn't know if it was a hardware or software problem to overcome or both.

Is this "ethernet switch" an hardware solution also or...?

Never mind, I'll figure it out somewhere else. Thanks though for giving me the answer about the kvm though.

TobiSGD 02-18-2013 09:36 PM

Ethernet switch:
Yes, a hardware solution, there is no software solution for plugging cables into your machines ;).

Woodsman 02-18-2013 09:44 PM

Get a quality KVM switch. Read the reviews before buying. KVMs come in different sizes, such as 2-port and 4-port. I have been using one for my two vintage clunker computers. To toggle between the two systems requires me tapping the Scroll Lock key twice. Make sure you get a KVM that is easy to toggle between systems without being a contortionist. I have an IOGear GC612A 2-port KVM, but I don't think they are made anymore. I've had the KVM for several years and have been quite happy with the device.

Pay attention to the types of connectors on the KVM. My KVM uses PS2 ports. I have to use a USB-to-PS2 converter for my mouse, which is USB. Be sure the cables are long enough to reach both computers.

Regarding networking, if you have only the two computers, you can configure one as a gateway and connect that computer directly to your ISP device. Configure the gateway system with IP forwarding. Add a second network card and use a cross-over cable to connect the two computers. I ran that way for a couple of years with a 486 and a Pentium I system. Of course, the gateway system has to be powered on whenever somebody uses the second system for internet access. :)

If you have plans for expansion, a router-switch is a good investment. Most models have both a router and a switch built into one box. The Linksys models are an example. A simple and inexpensive box will provide a 4 port switch. If new computers are possible in your future then get a router-switch that supports 1 Gbps. I have a Linksys WRT54GL 1.1, which has a 4-port 10/100 switch. When I built my HTPC, which has a 1 Gbps on-board NIC, I wanted to make full use of that with my office system, which also has a 1 Gbps on-board NIC. I then bought a D-Link DGS-2205 Gigabit switch. I connected the two 1 Gbps machines to the gigabit switch and then connected the gigabit switch to one of the ports on the Linksys router-switch. This way the two gigabit machines are connected for gigabit speeds and all systems in the house go through the Linksys. As I have a 3 Mbps ISP connection, the 10/100 Mbps speed of the Linksys is sufficient to handle internet connections.

irgunII 02-19-2013 11:59 AM

Thanks, Woodsman!

glorsplitz 02-19-2013 07:15 PM

aten kvm galore
Hi, I have this KVM.

Very good unit, no ghosting.

I have old keyboard for ps2 connection, usb for mouse, vga for monitor.

Everything goes through the video cable, you don't need separate mouse and keyboard cables for each computer. All cables I needed came with the unit.

It does have a power connector but that's not needed.

Few years back I did find an ethernet gadget that allowed one to connect to any computer by ip and it was expensive.

Habitual 02-19-2013 08:14 PM


Originally Posted by irgunII (Post 4894766)
What I need to find out, is is there a way I can use the one keyboard and mouse and monitor for both computers without having to swap cables whenever I want to use the other system?

Can't synergy handle this?

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