KVM Switches

Posted on 2005-04-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-17

I am writing to see if anyone has had any experience with a KVM Switch.  It stands for Keyboard, video, mouse, and it seems to be a general term for hardware switches which allow, among other things, one keyboard to control multiple computers.

I am particularly interested in connecting one PS/2 keyboard to both a DOS legacy system and a Windows PC.  While I know this is possible with a KVM switch, because it's in the promotional materials for virtually all that I've seen, I don't know if they will support concurrent control of two computers via that single keyboard.

Does anyone know whether a KVM switch would typically support my single PS/2 controlling both computers at the same time, with the same keystrokes?

I'd be really to hear back from you if you've had any experience with these switches.  I've actually been working diligently trying to get this configuration to  work for some time, and just tonight learned about KVM switches. I hope that it's what I need and would love to hear from you.

Question by:ba272
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    They work great.  They are frequently used in data centers.  I'm using one right now.  There are GOOD KVMs and BAD KVMs.  DOS systems don't care and this should work fine.  Windows systems typically need to detect the mouse and keyboard at boot - once booted, they are fine.  CHEAP KVMs might not allow a system to detect the Keyboard and Mouse IF it's not the active system (the one currently using the keyboard, video and mouse).
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Put simply, I wouldn't hesitate to get a KVM in your situation.  Belkin seems to make some relatively good and relatively cheap ones.  Really expensive ones can control 16 or more systems and chain together.  I'm using a Raritan 8 port one now.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your help.

    Featured Post

    Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

    Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

    Join & Write a Comment

    It happens many times that access list (ACL) have to be applied to outgoing router interface in order to limit some traffic.This article is about how to test ACL from the router which is not very intuitive for everyone. Below scenario shows simple s…
    Tired of waiting for your show or movie to load?  Are buffering issues a constant problem with your internet connection?  Check this article out to see if these simple adjustments are the solution for you.
    After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
    After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…

    731 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now