I recently bought a VGA + PS/2 KVM switch, just to make life a little easier for a few days while setting up a new PC for someone while also running my own. It seems to work as advertised, but one feature that wasn't advertised is that it doesn't seem to pass the capabilities of the monitor back to the PCs. As a result, I ended up spending most of those few days working with a 1024x768 mode on a 1920x1080 monitor.

Although it's not vastly important, (1) working with two computers isn't that unusual for me, and (2) I have a monitor that doesn't much like switching to HDMI when it thinks something's connected on the VGA (even powered off), and the KVM seems to work around that. So I would like a fix that allows me to work at the full native resolution of the monitor while using the KVM.

On point (2), using DVI rather than VGA is another workaround, but my current PC doesn't have a DVI port on the motherboard graphics and I'm delaying buying a graphics card (even a cheap one) until my finances improve a little.

Anyway, what I'd like to be able to do is save all the details of the display mode I'm currently using (with the monitor connected directly), then force those details to be used while working with the KVM.

I need to be able to do this with both OpenSUSE 11.3 Linux 64 bit (using KDE), and with Windows XP SP3, as I dual boot. Also useful - Windows 98 SE (that second PC is likely to be an ancient thing used for equally ancient games).


You have to be switched to one side of the KVM, start up that computer and wait for Windows to finish booting. You can then switch to the other computer, power it on, and wait for it to finish booting.

I'm not 100% sure why this is - it's something to do with the video card needing to receive the EDID of the monitor. This is the case on eight different KVMs we have here.

  • The more sophisticated switches will, in fact, handle that for you. However, it adds a deal of complexity beyond merely switching the wires, and that complexity comes with a cost. Wikipedia has more info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… It'll take some careful shopping to find one that will properly reflect the monitor's information to the PC. I think Aten's switches support proper handling of EDID's. aten.com – Jason Sherman May 9 '11 at 21:50
  • This doesn't work for me. Even with only one PC connected and powered up, the EDID apparently doesn't get through. I can't switch the KVM to the other until it's powered on, but I did try switching early - while the BIOS stuff was still being displayed - and the EDID apparently didn't get through then either. The documentation for the KVM implies that this is the correct answer, but it doesn't work in practice. The manual describes the same procedure for starting up, though it isn't 100% clear on the reason, and I've tried it. Could be a faulty KVM or cable - but too late to return it by now. – Steve314 May 11 '11 at 19:05
  • +1 because I can believe this should work, even though it doesn't for me. Accepted because it should work for other people, and it may not be worth the effort overriding the EDID. On Jasons careful shopping comment - it's really not worth it for me. Better to invest that money in an ATI graphics card with a DVI port - and also hopefully resolve some motherboard graphics and nVidia drivers issues. – Steve314 May 11 '11 at 19:12

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