Tag Archives: kvm-switch

How to Control Multiple Computers with Input Director


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When you have multiple machines to manage, it’s easier to use one mouse and keyboard. However, not many of us have found a KVM hardware switch that really works for us. This is where software such as Input Director can come in handy, and Dylan is going to show you how it works.

With Input Director, you can share a single keyboard/mouse across a set of systems. You switch which system receives the input either by hotkey or by moving the cursor so that it transitions from one screen to the other (in a very similar fashion to a multi-monitor setup). Input Director also supports a “shared” clipboard, in which you can copy data onto the clipboard on one system, transition across to another and paste.

Tell Input Director how your monitors are positioned simply by dragging them to the correct spot on the monitor grid. It’s that easy to get started!

Thanks, Dylan, for another excellent screencast.

What is a KVM Switch?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Controlling multiple computers from one workstation can be difficult and often requires some special tools. KVM – Keyboard Video Mouse – hardware and software allows you to have one set of peripherals control multiple machines.

Should you got with hardware or software? Ultimately your hardware setup is going to decide what solution you use.

Hardware switches allow you to switch between machines with a press of a button on your keyboard. Often times you simply press "scroll lock" twice and your KVM will switch between machines.

VNC allows you to control another machine on your current machine. It’s almost as if you were running a Virtual Machine on your computer in that you have a program open on your computer which controls a remote computer.

Synergy is a little more seamless than VNC because it allows you to use one keyboard and one mouse to control multiple machines, all of which are connected to their own monitors. It allows you to control those machines as if you had a multiple monitor setup.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all.

Multiplicity allows you to do something similar to Synergy:

Multiplicity is a new program that lets you control multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse.

If you’ve ever used a multiple monitor equipped PC, then you can imagine how Multiplicity works. Each monitor is connected to its own PC. When the user moves the mouse over to a given monitor, the user is then controlling that PC.

What do you use to control multiple machines?

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