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I have 2 PCs on my desk, each one with its own screen, mouse and keyboard. And it's a pain moving from one PC to the other (even though they are one foot away from each other).
So, it's time to change to different approach: KVM switches.

What would you recommend for a setup like mine? I dont need to change monitors since they are both in front of me. I just need a way to change mouse and keyboard. I use Windows on both PCs and money is not an issue if it worth it.

What would be the best option for a seamless integration of the two PCs?


Edit:
What about other software similar to Synergy, like Input Director?
What's more convenient in your experience?

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closed as not constructive by Sathya Mar 23 '12 at 7:37

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6 Answers 6

I haven't used Maxivista, but if its a choice between Synergy and a hardware KVM when you already have a monitor for each, Synergy will win every time.

Edit to add: Unless you want to have a dual monitor setup for one of them and don't need both desktops visible all the time. Then I'd recommend putting both onto a single machine and RDP (Remote Desktop) into the other. (Yes, remote in from two feet away!)

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You know that before even try it? –  GetFree Sep 8 '10 at 3:10
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I'm in the Synergy camp -- but go with Synergy + for the most current flavor.

I do just what you're describing all day long every day. Two machines each with their own display and one keyboard and mouse on the "server." Sometimes the machines are both Windows, sometimes one Windows and one Linux. Synergy + is so easy to use and get used to that I don't really even think about it any more.

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FYI: According to http://synergy-foss.org/ (the new project page?) Synergy and Synergy+ have merged. –  yhw42 Sep 8 '10 at 4:16
    
Good to know! Sometimes it is hard to keep up with forks and merges :-) –  Chris_K Sep 8 '10 at 4:22
    
Is Synergy able to control a computer which is at log-on screen? Maxivista claims to be able to do that. –  GetFree Sep 8 '10 at 5:53
    
Yes, if it is running as a service. –  Chris_K Sep 8 '10 at 14:22
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Depends on what you want.

  • Maxivista basically uses software to make a laptop appear as a monitor, then make that laptops' monitor show whatever the first computer sends it. In essence, the same effect as cutting off your laptop monitor and putting it in an enclosure, only letting you still use your laptop.

  • Synergy simply allows two systems to work with a single mouse and keyboard by pretending the two computers' desktops are next to each other and when the mouse moves into the edge it forwards the mouse and keyboard movements to the other computer. Heck, it even keeps the two system's clipboards in unison.

  • A hardware kvm switch does that too, but instead plugs into both computers (including monitors and keyboards) and instead forces you to use a physical switch to switch between the computers.

So for your case, Synergy.

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I believe with Maxivista you can control the other computer too. It has two modes of operation or something. –  GetFree Sep 8 '10 at 3:29
    
Nonetheless, you'd be paying $40 for the same functionality. –  digitxp Sep 8 '10 at 3:53
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Synergy is junk.
Why?

  1. Keys get stuck. If you set Synergy up to switch to the alternate computer with Shift-Alt-A, the Shift and Alt keys will get stuck, so each time you switch, you have to tap the keys. The lead dev said over a year ago this would be fixed in the next version. There's still no new version. There are hundreds of posts requesting a fix, but no fix.

  2. Synergy can run more than once — confusing the program and the user. Worse, the main computer system tray icon does not have an "open main window" option, and double-clicking it opens the list of connected PCs. Ridiculous. There's no sure way to get to the configuration!

Don't use this... thing. Try input director or buy Maxivista for a real program with serious development.

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Your answer is junk. –  nbolton Feb 4 at 23:43
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up vote -1 down vote accepted

I've doing some testing and it seems Maxivista in remote control mode is better than Synergy because you can keep keyboard focus irrespectively of what screen your mouse is.
It integrates both commputers seemlessly. It's like they were just one big screen.
On Synergy, on the other hand, I believe you have clipboard and screensaver synchronization, but aside of that, it is just a KVM switch.
Maxivista's remote control mode is a little more than that. For example you can use Windows' screen keyboard to type on the other computer! magic!!

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One thing I dislike about Synergy is the fact I still must have keyboard and mouse connected to client pc in order to run synergy in case it fails or if I reboot it. I don't know about kvm.

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