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Giuanniello

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
717
204
Capri - Italy
I have a mess of computers at home, an old 2010 Mini which works smoothly as a headless music server then a 2014 i5 which is dedicated to downloads and recreational stuff and another 2014 i7 which is the one hosting my photo archive; too complicated to have so much stuff around, I'd like to be able to have both the 2014 one on top of the other and use one screen and one keyboard to serve both, screen choice either the old 23" CinemaDisplay through a messy ADC to DVI then to Display Port adapter or a cheaper (and ugly looking) 21" screen with HDMI cable (less messy cables/adapters).

Back in time there were those kind of a dock to hook up screen and usb devices to be shared among two or more computers, does something like that still exists?

Grazie
 

icanhazmac

Contributor
Apr 11, 2018
2,506
9,390
If you use one as your "primary" and only occasionally need access to the others you could consider somehting like RealVNC, leave your keyboard, mouse and monitor physically connected to one mini and virtually access the others.


If you want them all connected "physically" the monitor(s) will be the hard part but Logitech MX Kys Keyboard and MX Master Mice allow for 3 different device connections via bluetooth or a dongle.
 

Giuanniello

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
717
204
Capri - Italy
Oh yes, a KVM switch, gotta look for one of those, sharing HDMI and USB for keyboard and mouse would be great.

Grazie!!!
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,666
4,549
New Jersey Pine Barrens
If you use one as your "primary" and only occasionally need access to the others you could consider somehting like RealVNC, leave your keyboard, mouse and monitor physically connected to one mini and virtually access the others.

I use the built-in MacOS screen sharing to access a 2012 Mini fileserver and 2014 Mini media server from my 2018 Mini. Works great and was very easy to setup without any additional software. The mediaserver has an actual screen connected but the fileserver is "headless". So, I have an HDMI dummy plug like this for it which makes the Mini think it's connected to a real screen.


But it depends on what you use the other Mini for, screen sharing works fine for managing a server, but wouldn't be so good for editing photos, playing games, etc. It also doesn't provide audio, but if the Mini is right there, then you could just connect speakers directly to it.
 

jagooch

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2009
779
236
Denver, co
A couple of things I have done
1) Thunderbolt dock - plug monitor and peripherals into the dock. move the thunderbolt dock cable between Mac’s to switch between them.
2) Use multi input display and logitech mx mouse / keyboard. Plug both Macs into the display . Use the display input switch to switch between Macs.

Logitech MX devices can pair and switch between 3 devices.

3) KVM as already mentions

4) remote access client software like NoMachine(free) or Mac’s built in VNC client accessible via finder.
 

MevetS

Cancelled
Dec 27, 2018
374
303
A different way to go would be to use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse that can pair with multiple systems. I use a Satechi keyboard and Logitech mouse both of which pair with up to three devices and can easily switch between devices. I use a simple HDMI switch to share a monitor between two computers.

My use case is switching between my work laptop and personal Mac Mini. This setup works well for me.

Good luck whatever you decide.
 
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pjs7171

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2021
7
0
I am about to embark on major upgrade to Mac mini for home computer, M1 Air for work. Currently have iMac and Air (with additional screen). I would like one screen to serve both new computers, ideally 5K. Happy with two mice, one keyboard (logitech switches between both machines), but would like to most elegant way of being able to have both machines connected to screen, but switch inputs. Any screens have built in switches or similar? Would not like to miss out on USB-C connectivity and need good optics. Thanks for any advice.
 
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