I've got a fairly complex setup at home, and desktop clutter (extra keyboards, displays, and mice) are the bane of my existence.

I'm composing this question on a Mid 2010 27" iMac, which has attached an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse. The iMac is a little slow for my taste, and having recently acquired a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, I'm starting to think I can forego the iMac and simply set up a system at home where I can "dock" my laptop to an Apple Thunderbolt Display.

On the DIY side, though, I have a server running Windows Server 2012 R2 that I use for some of my more complicated stuff (think a Windows version of a LAMP server but with a ton of storage, also hosting VMs in Hyper-V...) and that used to have another monitor/keyboard/mouse attached but I just couldn't take it anymore. Now it's headless and I access it through Remote Desktop, but if anything ever goes wrong (like when I reconfigure my network and I do an "ipconfig /release" remotely thinking I can still do a "/renew" next), I have to dig all that stuff out of the closet.

I'm also considering putting together another Windows box to do a little desk gaming on, so virtualization, RDP and VNC are not options there, and I really want to keep using that nice Apple stuff (especially that 2560x1440 screen). I'm OK with having to replace video cards or buy the kind that support certain standards to make this work. So I think what I'm looking for is a KVM solution that will not only switch Apple's Thunderbolt Display amongst both PC's and Macs, but also Bluetooth input devices. I'm starting to doubt that any of this exists.

...Then again, since the Magic Mouse really is about the world's worst gaming mouse, perhaps I'll repurpose an old 42" HDTV I'm not using and get a dock for the MBP, a regular KVM switch, and a solid 3rd party keyboard and mouse to do all this. And maybe a 4K display...

That really doesn't sound like the worst option, however, I would like to know if this is possible the "Apple" way.


You may see some success with the new LG 34UM95 monitor. According to an Amazon review:

The real winner here for me is the back I/O ports. The thing has a built-in KVM switch and/or Thunderbolt dock. What I have is a brute of a PC and a late 2013 retina MacBook Pro. Both are plugged into the I/O on the back and both run native resolution and sound without any need for any KVM switch! Its built right into the menu on the display. Choose your input and the rear I/O does the magic. I am ONLY using the Thunderbokt port and cable running to my MacBook Pro. Nothing else. No USB, audio, nothing. I am using the display's USB "uplink" to plug into my PC, and then I plug in my only keyboard and only mouse in the back USB "In" ports on the back of the display. All I need to do is use the display's joystick menu controller and switch inputs and its works like a charm! USB data, audio, and display video are all carried over the single Thunderbolt cable to my Mac and the PC is controlled via the USB cables. Wow.


  • That thing really does look impressive. Too bad it's sold out - or only on pre-order currently. Tough to tell whether the KVM will be that simple, the reviewer mentions separate PC speakers (what is this 1995?) but seems ideal for running a souped up Mac Mini and a Windows box, possibly swapping in a rMBP from time to time. So much potential. If this thing plays its cards right, I may just marry it. – Dan Robson May 29 '14 at 22:29
  • Looks like a great monitor. As an FYI to others, it is currently retailing for $850. – Jeff Mar 11 '16 at 22:14

I have 2 systems (macpro & macbookpro) which each have their own monitor, but I use a single logictech (windows based) keyboard & mouse. I use a soft KVM (minus V) called Synergy (http://synergy-project.org/).

One of the systems acts as the KVM server, and the other systems are clients. It definitely got rid of the clutter.


There is not a GOOD KVM solution for bluetooth/wireless devices that I know of. You could put a bluetooth adaptor on a usb kvm, but that would be messy and may not start up correctly on toggle.

Your only good option may be to use a networked solution: http://synergy-foss.org/

I have used synergy to share my keyboard/mouse across a mac and windows environment.

Caveat #1 One of the devices must be the master, and cannot be off when sharing your input devices to a client/slave machine

Caveat #2 You need to be on a lan network environment, if you use a vpn this option may not work for you.


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