Is it possible to use a laptop's screen, mouse and keyboard for a desktop?

Please do not suggest breaking the laptop apart or anything. Obviously, it is fine if I can not use the laptop while I am using it for the desktop.

Does anybody know in detail about KVM switch? Will something like that work for me?

4 Answers 4


All three components normally use different interfaces that are not compatible with a normal desktop.

However, you may be able to use software solutions like remote desktop, VNC or Synergy to control your desktop from your laptop.

Alternatively, you might be able to use some micro-controller and a bread-board to rig a adapter to make these components work with a desktop. Hint: most touchpads now use the USB interface for communication.

  • can any of the three components (screen, keyboard, monitor) be used, if not all three of them? Suggestions like remote desktop etc won't work, because they will all rely on network (and network speed will become the bottleneck).
    – TPR
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 2:28
  • If you use remote desktop and VNC, then you can control your desktop "as if" applications are running locally, so full use of your display, kbd and mouse. If you use Synergy, you can only share your keyboard and mouse. Both these require a working OS on the laptop. Linux will do if you don't want to run Windows on it. Many LCD panels on laptops uses the LVDS interface which needs some signal conversion to be plugged into normal VGA or DVI ports. You will have to build a power supply as well. Keyboard and touchpad almost always use proprietary connector.s
    – billc.cn
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 2:32
  • but with remote desktop, network speed will become the bottleneck?
    – TPR
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 2:49
  • If you have a 2Mbps or better link between the computers, it should be fine for normal desktop applications. Video playback/gaming is generally sluggish or impossible unless you have gigabit ethernet.
    – billc.cn
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 2:54
  • nah, I fear sluggishness will be there even with regular desktop apps.
    – TPR
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 3:28

Use something like this to make a laptop screen into a desktop screen.

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As for the keyboard, I'm not sure, but the trackpad is possible if it has a USB-like 4 wire module.


You cannot use them on a desktop. There is no way to plug any of them in. You can use your laptop to remote into your desktop, and use them that way. You see your desktop's desktop and applications as if you were working directly on the desktop.


KVM switches are for desktop only you need to network the laptop to the desktop

then install the VNC software on both machines.

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