Virtual KVM Solutions

Folks are increasingly aware of screen sharing apps like VNC, but what about solutions that allow you to control multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse?

Back in the day, there was an interesting MacOS 7 hack that would send mouse and keyboard input from one computer to another (after some very easy configuration), today, in the days of OS X, I can find two solutions:

The PowerPage tipped me off to KMremoteControl a while ago.

And, What Do I Know has a review of Teleport.

Teleport works most like the old Classic Mac OS hack I remember, in that you need only mouse to one side of your screen to switch focus to another Mac. Mousing back brings focus and control back to your ‘home’ Mac. KMremoteControl goes cross platform with Windows PCs, but it isn’t as slick as Teleport (nor is it free).

I did find one annoying bug in Teleport, however. With my setup, it seems that I have to confirm the configuration prior to mousing over to the remote system. I’d like to be able to configure a remote control connection and use it without repeatedly having to confirm it in the preferences pane, but the app shows a lot of promise. The developer, who had left it as a public preview for some time, seems to be returning to it “because I’ll use it for my mac mini….”

Sort of related: Here’s a list of remote access solutions for Mac at Pure-Mac.com. The list doesn’t include Teleport or KMremoteControl and it’s probably missing others, but it may still be useful.

[update:] I just saw a mention of Synergy, an open-source virtual KVM solution, in the comments on PVRBlog.

2 thoughts on “Virtual KVM Solutions

  1. I am currently using Synergy 1.2.7 and have nothing but praise! It was a cinch (for a geek like me) to get it installed on Windows 2000, Gentoo Linux only involved emerging and configuring the conf file.

    Synergy only shares the keyboard & mouse (KM not KVM) not monitor, but it does this very well! I use two monitors and rely on this setup for many tasks, it is dependable under high use (mousing rapidly back and forth, no noticable lag in keyboard or mouse).

    It also has a cool “awe” effect on the unintroduced. Don’t forget you can also copy+paste between your KM’ed screens, that makes even tekkies drool, especially when the different OS’ are named.

    I would recommend the following for a SOHO admin/developer:

    1 – 8 Port KVM
    2 – (at least two!) 17″ to 19″ LCD monitors

    -Hook

  2. Pingback: Mac OS X VNC, Built-In « MaisonBisson.com

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