document updated 15 years ago, on Mar 21, 2008
Sharing video+kb+mouse over TCP/IP
LOTS of solutions, obviously, but the ones I use most are:
Sharing kb+mouse over TCP/IP (each machine has own physical display)
Sharing kb+mouse over USB/PS2 (each machine has own physical display)
- use a normal KVM, and just don't hook up the video to anything (works great, actually)
- use a USB-switcher that supports keyboard-switching (basically a KVM sans video)
- USB-over-TCP (injected at the hardware level, so works in BIOS and regardless of what OS is used)
- USB-over-TCP (injected via hacked device drivers, so software only (eg. free), but doesn't work in BIOS)
- PC-based KVM, implemented using commodity hardware, and fancy hardware? Is this possible?
- To some extent, no. PC USB cards are almost exclusively host controllers. What is
needed to "send" a USB packet to another computer is a USB card that allows it to act as a
perhipheral device. (in USB, data-flow is strongly directional... the master/slave
relationship is a fundamental part of communicating. (though USB OnTheGo tweaks this slightly) We need
a PC card that can act as slave (eg. a card that has type B connectors). When have you ever seen the ability for one computer to plug
into another, and for the first to magically appear as a mass-storage device? Or a keyboard?
Certainly it's possible, but not common)
And, obviously KVMs fill in the final configuration: video+kb+mouse shared over hardware.