sharing a keyboard and mouse

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by moonzilla, May 21, 2007.

  1. moonzilla macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2006
    Berkeley, CA
    first, let me say that I doubt there's a way to do this, but I figure it's still worth asking.

    I have two laptops on my desk, both connected to a 24" LCD. the mac is connected through DVI, while the HP is connected through VGA. What I want to know is if there's any way I can share my external keyboard and mouse for both computers, depending on which input I'm currently on.

    If you know of a program that can do this, I would be very appreciative. I've looked into Synergy, but it seems like that is designed to share external periphs for multiple displays.
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    You want to do it in *software*? I guess in principle, there's no reason you could not use a remote desktop system on one of the two computers to run the other one from it.

    The traditional solution for this kind of problem is to use hardware -- something like a KVM switch. Is that definitely out of the question for you? If it's not, you can search for kvm switch and find several threads with suggestions here on MR.
  3. james2002 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2007
    I have a similar setup, two notebooks sharing a 23" ACD. The only difference is both my notebooks can use DVI connections. The way I share the screen is with a 3:1 Gefen DVI switcher, I decided against a KVM. I share the mouse and keyboard using Synergy that way I can have both laptops on, switch the screen with the switcher while being able to use the mouse and keyboard on both notebooks by just moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. The setup works great.

    If you can convert from VGA to DVI I would recommend this setup. You might be able to change from VGA to DVI by using a Docking station that's what I had to do. Hope this helps.
  4. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
  5. MrVegas macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2005
    Columbia, Md.
    I have a Mac and a PC. They are currently sharing one monitor with a KVM switch. Can I use Synergy in this setup and control both computers with one keyboard and mouse which are plugged into the PC???
  6. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Yes, but you have to realize, synergy allows only keyboard and mouse sharing. You can't switch displays unless you have the Mac and PC going into separate monitor inputs, like the Mac into the DVI, PC into VGA.

    This is what I used to share my Linux and XP machines at work but I ended up just using rdesktop on the Linux machine to remote desktop to the PC.

    A KVM is probably a better solution than synergy if you have one already.
  7. MrVegas macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2005
    Columbia, Md.
    So do I have to install Synergy on both the PC and the Mac?

    The PC is my main machine, so I want the keyboard and mouse plugged into the PC.
  8. defsquad macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    birmingham, alabama
    yes mr. vegas, the pc would be the "server" while the mac would be the "client".

    for those of you that do use synergy, i ran into an issue where synergy will nto work if one computer is logged into a vpn while both are actually on your own network. for instance, my MBP and my work laptop (HP) are both using wireless connected to my AP; the HP is logged into my work vpn, my MBP cannot talk to the HP now, the HP DOES have the ip address assigned by my AP, but also has the one assigned by the vpn. i am therefore at a loss of what to do and am going to have to resort to a vpn just to share the wireless mouse and keyboard i have hooked up to my MBP. not to threadjack, but i have nearly the exact setup as the original poster, but am wondering what the best solution would be (especially if have one of your computers logged into a vpn). sorry if this question should be moved elsewhere.

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