Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Since IP KVMs are too expensive for me (especially for a home project), I need to find a way to send real keystrokes to a computer remotely in order to install OSes, changing BIOS settings, etc.

Do you know any "smart-keyboards" or adapters that would do the job?

share|improve this question
you could hack together something with a microprocessor and ethernet - i believe either an arduinos have ethernet capability, and there's a varient that pretends to be a keyboard you'd just have to get it to do both. You'd have turned a cost problem into an engineering problem though :) – Journeyman Geek Jun 26 '11 at 11:36

How far away do you need to be? You could use a wireless keyboard and a wireless usb range extender, if you are going to be in the same room.

share|improve this answer
I'd like to use it anywhere I want, abroad for example. I'm able to see the screen with a networked webcam, all I need now is sending keystrokes. – Laurent Mar 19 '11 at 17:18
Not sure if this can work for you, but apparently this remote desktop program works together with Intel AMT so you can control it even outside of the operating system. ...there is a video showing it at work here: seems to require a machine with intel amt support. – CreeDorofl Mar 19 '11 at 17:28
That would work, indeed. But buying an AMT 6.0 capable computer is nearly as expensive as buying an IP KVM :) I can't believe that there's no device to simulate keystrokes ... – Laurent Mar 19 '11 at 17:41
Well, there is, but apparently it can't be done as software-only since no software is loaded before the OS. So it's hardware based and therefore expensive :/ The cheapest ip-kvm I saw was like 450 USD. I'm trying to think creatively... something that mirrors keyboard inputs between 2 pc's, and one PC's webcam points at the other PC's screen? lol. – CreeDorofl Mar 19 '11 at 17:49

It turns out there's another answer, credit to some guy on reddit for this one. HP and dell both make kvm-type internal cards. The HP one is called a DRAC card, and dell's are called iLO's. You can find them on ebay. If they actually can work with your PC, they're really cheap, 30-60 bucks. Other companies make similar cards, so there may be one that suits your machine even if it's not hp or dell. They all fall under the category of lights-out management so try searching for that on google or ebay.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.