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

As the title suggests, I want to use a remote keyboard locally. The remote keyboard should be usable in a TTY and, if possible, in the X-Server as well. Are there any drivers (kernel modules) emulating a "fake" keyboard with network transparency?

share|improve this question

I found it out on my own.

First make sure you have loaded the evdev kernel module on both machines.

On the remote machine you run:

$ cat /dev/input/by-path/platform-i8042-serio-0-event-kbd | nc <IP> 4444

And on the client:

$ nc -l -p 4444 > /dev/input/by-path/platform-i8042-serio-0-event-kbd

(Note: If your're using netcat from netcat-openbsd, for example in Ubuntu or Fedora, don't use the '-p')

It works perfectly no matter whether I am in a TTY or in And it runs without any delay!

Unfortunately all keys are typed on the remote machine as well. Is there a way of temporarily disabling them while nc is running? I thought of somehting like running "cat -" on the remote machine but a Ctrl-C would make it end of course.

share|improve this answer
I had better luck with nc -l 4444, without the -p. According to man nc, -p is explicitly forbidden in combination with -l. Otherwise this is a fantastic solution and just what I needed :) – Magnus Hoff Mar 13 '11 at 11:28
I strongly encourage you to use it over secure connection or locally (though that ain't really secure either). There is snetcat, ('secure netcat') that can work if you import certificate (go, google it :-). Also, please accept your solution, this question is still 'open'. – AoeAoe Apr 18 '13 at 17:06
it would be greater if it supports copy and paste!! – Chenming Zhang Jun 27 '15 at 13:59

Synergy will share a keyboard over the network between multiple machines. If it doesn't directly do what you want, I'm sure there's code there that will make it easy for you to set up.

share|improve this answer
Synergy+ is a 'fork' of synergy that is still maintained for bugfixes. Additionally quick-synergy is available in some Debian package repositories and provides a GUI wrapper for synergy. – Josiah Nov 8 '09 at 22:41
Actually Synergy depends on the X-Server. I need a solution that works in a TTY though. If I knew how to emulate key presses in a TTY, I would try to write a small application myself. Unfortunately I was not able to find anything valuable on Google. Perhaps someone can give me some hints? – timn Nov 9 '09 at 17:26

Take a look at Synergy.

Synergy is Free and Open Source Software that lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers, where each computer has its own display. No special hardware is required, all you need is a local area network. Synergy is supported on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen.


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.