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I just found out that my IOGEAR KVM switch (GCS22U) doesn't work with my Apple slim aluminum keyboard. This is really frustrating because I now have a KVM that works with Ubuntu and Snow Leopard, except that the keyboard isn't recognized by Snow Leopard when it's connected to the KVM. Of course it works when it's plugged in directly, but defeats the purpose of using a KVM switch.

So I thought maybe I can just get a keyboard switch. Like a cable that switches a single USB device between two computers. This would mean I would have to click two buttons in order to switch them, but I think that's my only option at this point. Know of any super cheap ones that will work for the Apple slim aluminum keyboard in this scenario?

Or...I could just make one from scratch. I'd love to make one but I don't have any experience in that area. Switching 4 wires (instead of just positive and neutral) sort of baffles me. Know of any good tutorials that I can follow?

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4 Answers 4

I've read a few comments on Newegg that say you need to plug the keyboard into a powered USB hub and then into the KVM to get the keyboard to work. One user said that IOGEAR has acknowledged the problem and newer revisions might work in the future. There was also a comment from IOGEAR that said the GCS632U works with the Aluminum keyboard.

Someone in the Apple forums also got a reply from IOGEAR saying that the GCS42U-W6 works. Another user in the same thread confirmed that it does work.

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Good advice, the Apple keyboard draws enough power that it must be plugged into a powered USB port. –  Andrew Aug 7 '13 at 6:08

I believe the solution you are looking for is Synergy

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I use Synergy every day, to use the mouse and keyboard from my iMac to control my laptop. But it may not be what the OP wants in this situation... –  Josh Nov 6 '09 at 13:18
    
yeah, I've used Synergy before. Pretty cool, but a little buggy in OS X. I'm really looking for a physical switch. –  Andrew Nov 7 '09 at 18:00
    
Hey, I just found out about Synergy Plus (code.google.com/p/synergy-plus). It's a maintenance fork of the original Synergy (which hasn't been updated since 2006). This might be a good solution since it seems there is an active community around his one. –  Andrew Nov 7 '09 at 18:19

My guess would be that the IOGEAR didn't work because of it's "unique USB sniffing technology for USB mouse and keyboard emulation". But I don't know of a KVM switch that's known to work. I'd just be willing to bet that a KVM without this technology would work.

I can say, from past experience, that "dumb" KVM switches, the ones with a physical toggle switch, will wear out really, really fast and for VGA, the quality will really, really suffer.

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what about a single "dumb" USB switch? My IOGEAR KVM works fine for monitor and mouse, but maybe there is a USB switch that will work with the keyboard? –  Andrew Nov 7 '09 at 18:25

I use a simple usb switch and just use the second input on the monitor. This means 2 button pushes to switch computers, but that is not too bad. It takes a couple seconds for USB HID detection to kick in anyway.

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