My question is, on either Windows 8 or Ubuntu 16.04, is it possible to 'isolate' a keyboard and mouse to a virtual machine, hence possibly creating a 'split-screen' experience across 2 monitors?

I understand that it would suck up a lot of RAM and processing to play 2 games say, but I'm curious to try it out with a friend.

Is it possible? If so, how would you do it? I'd prefer to use Virtual Box but anything that's not too dead will do. Thanks


At least in Windows you can enable USB passthrough if you have the virtual box usb driver installed:

add usb filter to vm by settings dialog

Open the settings dialog for the VM you want to assign the keyboard to, navigate to "USB", click the "add USB filter"-button and choose the appropriate device.

Note you can also assign/deassign usb devices without modifying the VM settings directly using the devices menu:

assign usb device by menu

While the VM is running, select "Devices" in the menu bar on the top, open "USB" and choose the device you want to connect to the VM.

  • how would i prevent the keyboard/mouse from affecting the full system? or would i have 2 VMs each with a separate keyboard/mouse? – JellyWX Oct 2 '16 at 14:27
  • Once you've assigned the keyboard/mouse to the VM, your host system won't recognize them any more. So they are not able to affect your host system at all. – taTrifynor Oct 2 '16 at 14:31
  • ah, okay thank you. will try this out asap. for sound, i presume it works the same ((presuming a usb headset is used))? – JellyWX Oct 2 '16 at 14:35
  • It should work the same for any usb device. Just note that you might have to install the manufacturer's drivers inside the VM for the device to be recognized properly by the virtual OS. – taTrifynor Oct 2 '16 at 14:40
  • managed to get this to work with a mouse but havent found the spare keyboard yet. it worked very well and now need to figure out a pci passthrough so i can actually multi seat games.. although i dont know if this is possible :( – JellyWX Oct 4 '16 at 17:41

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