I have read that mechanical KVMs are not the best.

If I buy one of those Mac mini's, would I be able to use the one keyboard, PC and monitor (multiple monitors?) with a software KVM ?


Just to clarify, I've read mechanical ones that you push the device to switch can make systems hang. I've read on the net (ages ago) that the best ones connect via USB and you can use a keyboard shortcut to switch between systems.

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    I've never had a hang related to the use of a KVM. I have had machines fail to boot (or boot improperly) when they were not the KVM's selected machine at power up. – Chris Nava Aug 11 '09 at 15:22

Not sure what you mean with a software KVM, but if you mean something like Synergy, I can confirm that this works smoothly between Mac and Windows. You do need 2 screens for this though. Synergy only shares your keyboard and mouse (and clipboard) between the 2 computers.

Update: Ah, Ok. What you're talking about is not a software KVM, but a hardware KVM with a soft switch. I think they do work both on Mac and Windows, but the soft switch part means you can switch the KVM with a keyboard shortcut. Therefore you mostly need to install a small driver, which can be Windows-ONLY, so this means that you then can switch with the keyboard from your windows machine, but not from your Mac (in which case you would have to push the button on the KVM itself).
I'd just recommend checking the included software to see if they ship drivers for Mac as well when buying a soft KVM switch.

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  • Thanks for this answer fretje, and following up my edit +1 – alex Aug 11 '09 at 9:15
  • Have you tried Synergy+? code.google.com/p/synergy-plus – Nick Bolton Aug 19 '09 at 2:49
  • I've got a KVM that has a keyboard hotkey combo, however it is detected via the PS/2 port! Clever. – alex Sep 10 '09 at 21:31

I am using two Aten KVM switches (relatively cheap) and no problem. First is used to switch between Win and Linux machine and has PS2 ports for mouse and keyboard. Second is used for two Win machines (XP and 7), peripherials via usb and also no problem. In both cases the switch is activated by double-press of Scroll Lock button.

The only one problem was, that it did not work with Dell keyboard shipped with most of their computers (looks like this one) - I assume it has something to do with the smart card reader as classic HP keyboard works without problems.

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