I have a Windows machine running an i7 processor that supports up to 4 graphics cards. I want to find a solution where I can connect 4 keyboards and mouse and make 3 maybe 4 separate machines for office use. We basically have to use word and Dreamweaver with a little browsing. Is there any solution, hardware or software, for this?


You can do this with Windows MultiPoint Server, provided you have the appropriate volume licensing. You can also purchase a machine from an OEM, but I'm guessing you want to keep your existing computer rather than purchase one.

Windows MultiPoint Server http://www.microsoft.com/windows/multipoint/default.aspx

A hardware option would be something from NComputing (http://www.ncomputing.com/).

  • This is great I am downloading the trial version. – user132105 May 3 '12 at 21:31

First off, the plural of mouse is mice.

Second, your title says 2, but your description says 4 keyboards. (consistency!)

Third, you sure did ask a mouthful

Simply put, no this is not possible on any Windows platform. This is both a limitation of licensing and technological programming.

The only realistic way you can do this is in Linux, it is called Hot-Seating or a Hydra system. If you want an easy solution that costs a bit of money check out userful at: http://www2.userful.com/products/userful-multiseat-linux

The reality is that you can do this with any distribution of Linux FOR FREE, but to build it from scratch (ala, not using userful software) you will need to get dirty in X11 with X11 programming.

Now I'm actually in the stage of learning how to do this, so I can't guide you to do it manually. Even if I could, the process is so complex I would not guide you here how to do it.

  • "this is not possible" is just nonsense. You can run copies of Windows inside VMs, and bind a different set of USB devices to each. Then each instance will have its own cursor, focus, etc. Only need a single processor, single power supply, 1/2 as many video cards as users, etc. – Ben Voigt May 3 '12 at 21:05
  • @Ben Voigt This relies on the one primary user being logged on at all times. While this is a work-around, this is not the same thing as I was talking about, a true hot-seating configuration. Also, who knows what kind of processor this system has, it may not even have any virtualization hooks at all, which would cause the VMs to run like junk. Hot-Seating will run better, even if the hooks are there for virtualization because the whole setup is bare-metal. – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 21:14
  • Pay a little more attention to the question, and you'll see that the processor is a modern Intel with good support for virtualization. For Word, DreamWeaver, and browsing, performance would be more than adequate. – Ben Voigt May 3 '12 at 21:16
  • @Ben Voigt yes that blatant mention of i7 I missed. That is my mistake. However I still stand by my point that the configuration you propose still relies on the main person being logged in at all times, and also having enough licenses of Windows per VM to go around. – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 21:19
  • Licensing is no problem. superuser.com/questions/25678/… And the only "person" that has to be logged in is the host, all VMs can be independently locked. – Ben Voigt May 3 '12 at 21:21

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